PREMIERE: Film School Is Back in Session with “Bright to Death”

The Bay Area shoegaze group offer up an early listen of their fifth studio album—their first in eight years.

With the recent reunions of such canonical figures as My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Ride, shoegaze is unquestionably back. Consequently, so is Film School. With their first album since 2010’s Fission, the San Francisco noisemakers have returned with the perfect thing; Bright to Death is not only a loyal adherent to its genre’s tradition, but also exhibits some of the band’s sharpest work to date.

“When this lineup first came together in the early 2000s, I never thought we’d be doing some of our best work fifteen or so years later,” admits singer and guitarist Greg Bertens. “Our [self-titled] album came out in 2006, when bands like The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand were in full swing. The music landscape was totally different then—shoegaze was a bad word. That’s changed.”

With Franz Ferdinand and at least one Stroke back in full swing—albeit in entirely different corners of the sandbox—Film School have found their stride in a significantly less homogenized era for rock, threading the needle previously framed by “Lectric”’s dark trance and “Sunny Day”’s bright guitars. Bright to Death’s forty-minute run time straddles a middle ground of hazy noise pop driven by a darkwave undercurrent. Check out the album in full below a day before its official release via Hauskat Records.

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