Bright Light Bright Light's 'Uh Huh!' Is an End-of-Summer Mating Call: Exclusive

Raphaël Neal
Bright Light Bright Light 

Rod Thomas, the New York-by-way-of-Wales DJ, producer and singer-songwriter who records as Bright Light Bright Light, underwent some emotional whiplash during the process of recording his latest EP Tough Love, due out this September.

“Mental health is something that goes up and down when you're a musician, when you travel a lot, when you're constantly meeting people and constantly away from long-term friends or your family, so the EP is about keeping yourself in check and knowing when you need to be a little tougher, or a little kinder on yourself,” he tells Billboard.

The two initial singles from the five-track EP -- “How I Feel” and the self-titled track -- delve into the internal turmoil that comes with maintaining close relationships. But with "Uh Huh!," premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Aug. 16), he heel-turns and leans into total pleasure.

"With 'Uh Huh!' I wanted something much more fun and playful,” Thomas says of track, explaining that he meant to avert the end-of-summer blues. “It's an upbeat, summery song about not overthinking.”

“Love is just a word to all the nonbelievers/Those who haven’t heard what I could do for you,” he smirks before launching into the titular hook. It's a mating call so inviting and assured that Thomas must have witnessed it behind-the-boards millions of times before. It's no wonder, given his past collaborators -- welterweight icons like Elton John, Jake Shears and Alan Cummings -- as well as his own history of running fabulous day parties.

“Uh Huh!” feels immediate and inviting, as if Bright Light Bright Light superimposed thousands of nights at the disco into one Platonic ideal of an evening. The swirl of congas and drumpads and riffs scratching at the pleasure centers of your brain, until it vaults into a series of horn stabs. It's euphoric and seemingly sourced from a long legacy of ‘80s and ‘80s-imbued club anthems before it. “Let me teach you something about what loving me can do,” he croons, part come-on, part directive. It's hard not to turn him down.

Tough Love comes out Sept. 21, coinciding with a performance at Manchester Pride and a U.K. and Europe tour.

Get a first listen of "Uh Huh!" below: