Brightside is a Pittsburgh quartet whose power pop anthems come on like a sugar rush.
“Just Like Dancing,” the first single from Brightside’s upcoming album 2012, plays like a gloriously souped-up take on 80’s new wave. With its soaring chorus, weightless harmonies, propulsive drums, and heart-on-the-sleeve lead vocal turn by frontman Matt V, it sounds like a Cure outtake from a recording session during which Robert Smith was in a “Friday I’m In Love” mood and accidentally turned his guitar’s distortion all the way up. The verses and bridge contain a jagged, tightly-wound energy that gradually builds until the chorus hits and dissolves that energy into pure dopamine. I’m not sure how Matt V does it, but his voice legitimately sounds like it belongs to an elaborately-coiffed British man from several decades ago, a quality that activates the musical reptile brain of anyone that enjoys John Hughes films and 80’s nights at their local bar. “Just Like Dancing” is a retro gem of a track (and it doesn’t even have excessive gated reverb!).