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David Hopkins, Here Comes the Bright Light (Modest)
San Francisco-based Irishman David Hopkins is a singer-songwriter who doesn't wish to be known as one due to its "awful connotations", but although he is no folksy troubadour, the fact he sings, and writes songs means he can't escape the tag he detests. Here Comes the Bright Light is Hopkins's first solo release after his time in Irish band LiR and is a collection of sparse acoustic refrains such as the plaintive "Why Are You Leaving Me Behind?" and pleasant jangle-pop songs such as the excellent "For Nothing". Hopkins is clearly influenced by the likes of Nick Drake as evident on his cover of "Saturday Sun", but his sound is not overwhelmed by his record collection. "Miserable Boy" may have shades of Badly Drawn Boy, but as the highly original "The Spelling Song" demonstrates, Hopkins has the ability to be original. Here Comes the Bright Light is diverse and serves as an interesting precursor to Hopkins's next release, One Dark Morning.