Stellar Lights by Brigitte Bardini

Release date: August 30, 2021
Label: Red Valley Records

The album cover is a gem on this next artist from Melbourne. There’s the art deco textures, nod to unsung glam hero Jobriath, Goldfrapp, ‘40s resemblance to Veronica Lake, and video game character Noir Elizabeth from the single player expansion; BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea. Her name is Brigitte Bardini.

I first became aware of Bardini’s music on Echoes with John Diliberto this year when he did an interview with her on his podcast. The arrangements that was made in the background, was like nothing I ever heard before.

It was very different from what Sigur Ros, Jane Weaver, and Alison Goldfrapp were doing. With her galactic debut, Stellar Lights released last year, she goes as far as she can go whilst preparing herself to make the jump to light-speed.

Opener ‘Heartbreaker’ is a cosmic ride into the dance floor as Brigitte lays down some electro beats with beautiful synth-like morse code to get the day started whilst going off into the country for a relaxing atmosphere of a symphonic pop sound on this ‘Wild Ride’.

She lifts her spirit by driving into these various locations not knowing where the next chapter will take her, but she makes a soft landing into an ‘Everyday’ breather by channeling both Roxy Music’s sole self-titled debut and Ultravox. Brigitte has done her homework very well by taking aspects on the bands and artists that might have influenced her during the making of the album.


I felt tugs also between Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness combined into one as she heads down into Lullaby lane of Johann Strauss’ The Blue Daube with ‘Inside Your Head’. Bardini once more heads to the dance floor again. She goes into a groove and lets people in her hometown a chance to relax, move away from all of the crazy shit that’s happening on TV, and head into her club for meditations that is calm and clear.

Then she breaks out her acoustic guitar to take a breather by reflecting on how far she’s gotten to with ‘All My Life’. Both ‘Made of Gold’ and ‘Breathe’ bring this combination between Joy Division and The Cure’s Pornography-era by taking a big drive into this deep, darker location that she doesn’t want you to go near.

You have the drum section playing on a loop with some crisp electric guitars going for a hypnotic midsection by heading towards these tunnels filled with weird imagery. Meanwhile, ‘Aphrodite’ goes for the nod for Bardini as she dives into the lyrical styles of Simple Minds and John Foxx with an approaching score during the Brat Pack years from John Hughes.

Then, we head into a Mellotron-like sound from a viscount organ as it transforms into a carousel on ‘Could’ve Been’. When you hear the sounds of the organ, you can hear the sounds of unsung French prog rock group, Ange thrown in. There’s some neat cross-overs from Caricatures and Au-delà du délire that Brigitte channels.

Stellar Lights isn’t just one of those albums that you take in your car and play it on your CD player repeatedly, it stays with you until the end of time. Bardini herself has brought a lot of massive ideas to the kitchen table. These songs are like various story structures that she has written. And those visual imageries that are on Stellar Lights, are an out-of-this-world presentation.

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