Hitting The Heights
LEE-WAI YU IS THE VOICE.
THAT’S NOT GRANDSTANDING.
IT’S A FACT.
HE EVEN HAS THE TROPHY
TO PROVE IT.
As the inaugural champion of the singing competition hosted by 101.3 The River in March, Yu’s voice also kickstarted a whirlwind process for his band Bright City Heights. Part of The Voice prize package was recording time with Rick Irvine at Chesletta Studios and radio airplay. My Dear and Ivory are in rotation on both The River and 93.1 CFIS and the Bright City Heights debut album is slated for a July release. With such a quick progression, it’s only natural to think the four members of Bright City Heights (Yu – vocals, guitar, piano; Mike Vigano – guitar; Nick Tindale – drums; and David Baycroft – bass) have been chipping away together for years. Not so much.
Yu returned to Prince George in 2013 after living in Vancouver for three years and looked into starting a band with long-time collaborator Vigano. “I met these guys just playing gigs in a music shop, Sound Factory … and then we totally just hit it off from there,” Yu said. The group debuted at Riley’s October. “What really propelled the thing was the fact that he won the Voice,” said Vigano. “That’s the thing that really hit it - it just gave everybody a boost of encouragement.” (Baycroft also brings hardware to the group’s trophy case, as the winner of 2013’s PG Idol.) Bright City Heights songs are rooted in folk music with an overall indie rock/ pop vibe (with dashes of funk for good measure). “We’re not trying to be any one genre,” said Baycroft. The band has spent the entire spring in the studio and prepping a Peak Performance Project application. The fast pace – though at times trying – has its definite advantages.
”It’s nice to see progress,” Tindale said of the constant motion. “If you don’t have wood in the fire, it burns out really quickly.” It was Tindale who submitted Yu’s entry to The Voice and he said it’s the singer’s unique sound that helps the band stand apart. “I think it’s definitely of huge importance in how we play to his voice and I think that’s something that’s really unique,” he said. “We work all of our parts and we all relate back to [Yu’s] vocals and the root of what [Yu has] written too. That’s what makes it so cool.” Bright City Heights is touring northern B.C. this summer. Keep up with their progress at www.Facebook.com/BrightCityHeights or hear their music at brightcityheights.bandcamp.com.
by Charelle Evelyn on 25 June 2014