16 Jul 2020
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Bridges - Interview with Bridges

05 Jun 2020 // An interview by Erica McQueen

One of New Zealand's freshest new talents is Bridges, who recently burst onto the NZ music scene with a new sound of pop melodies soaked in atmospheric guitars and driving rhythms, all set to rich vocal tones expressing a powerful vulnerability. Erica from Muzic.net.nz caught up with Bridges about her new music, her pseudonym and who else she is listening to at the moment:

Why did Weightless Without stand out for you as the single to release for your upcoming EP?
 

When I wrote this song, it felt like a turning point for me. A lot had been building up, personally and musically to this point, and it kinda felt like the overflow when I wrote it. Not only was it the definitive beginning of this indie-rock sound, the song is about a sense of freedom from old ways of doing things. All of the songs on the EP are about those transitioning years and some difficult lessons learnt, but Weightless Without felt like the beginning of kind of really owning those realisations. This is why I decided to release it as the first single :) 

Who did you work with on the song? 

I had an amazing team to work with on the track! We recorded it at The Lab with engineer Olly Harmer. My great friend Josh Naley, who releases music under Wells* and is such a brilliant musician and person, he played guitar. Chris Marshall played Bass, he’s fantastic. David Waters played the drums, then produced and mixed the song for months until we were both happy with it. He’s amazing to work with and I’m so grateful he lent these skills to the song. 

Where were you when you wrote the song? Did it happen quickly or was it a long process? 

It happened pretty quickly actually. Although what I went through to gather the ‘data’ for the song, was years. It’s pretty crazy to think all of that time got bundled up into a 3 minute 20 second song. I was at my flat in Mt Eden when I wrote it, sitting on my bed. Most of the lyrics in the song were things I’d either thought or already said out loud, so it all turned into the song pretty fast, as I already had all the pieces there. 

How have you found working towards a release during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Interesting! My producer and I were isolating separately, so we had to mix the track together over Zoom haha! That was the most difficult part. I also would’ve loved to have planned a release gig, but obviously that wasn’t possible.  

You've chosen to release your single during NZ Music Month, was that intentional? 

Yes! For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to release my own music during NZ Music Month and be a part of that community. It’s a bit of a bucket list thing, so I’m stoked 2020 was the year I was able to finally do that. 

What other Kiwi artists are you listening to at the moment?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Lydia Cole recently. I bought some noise cancelling headphones just after lockdown - I forgot how much I love the quiet until everything stopped moving! Having these headphones means I’ve been able to dive into more quiet, vulnerable music and just absorb it while out and about - Lydia Cole is beautiful for this. I’m also always listening to Chelsea Jade.

How did you come to go by the pseudonym 'Bridges'? 

Bridges is a symbol of crossing over something; travelling from one side to the other. That’s how this new music feels to me - I’ve been on a journey from writing acoustic singer/songwriter type music, to creating the indie-rock sound I do now. The transition has taken years of discovering myself and how I want to express it, and the whole time I’ve felt like I’ve been on a  journey of moving towards a different side of myself. I also LOVE a good bridge section in a song, and the bridge is usually the point in my music where the height of the emotion happens and everything falls into place. So, with the combination of those two aspects, Bridges felt like the right name. 

If you could share the stage with any artist, who would it be?  

I’ve been struggling to think of an answer for this for ages! There are so many, but also any one I choose, I’d probably just rather watch their show because I love them so much and I wouldn’t want to miss it haha. Julia Michaels comes to mind - I seriously admire her songwriting so would more just love to chat to her about it before/after ‘sharing the stage’ haha! She also seems like a genuinely lovely person.  

Who are you most looking forward to seeing perform live post-Covid? 

Any local artists honestly - I’m really looking forward to being able to go out and watch local acts. It’s something I definitely took for granted before Covid, and now I really miss the opportunity to be able to do this. 

When did you start writing music and how has it evolved since? 

I started writing music at 13, which is when I taught myself the guitar. I was really into folk and country music (I grew up in Christchurch and that scene is pretty big there!) so this tended to be the genre I wrote. Moving to Auckland at 19, I studied a degree in Popular Music at the University of Auckland and was suddenly exposed to a huge variety of genres. The degree challenged, expanded and developed my writing style. I was also on a journey of uncovering some difficult emotions I’d been pushing down for years (lol, super fun) and found a way to express this in my songwriting. 

What are your major non-musical influences?  

Feelings! 

If listeners took one thing away from listening to your music, what would you hope it to be?  

I hope they’d feel less alone in some of the darker emotions they feel, and have the music as a space to feel it. I also hope they’d feel a bit epic and powerful haha. 

Any final words? 

Thank you for chatting! It’s been lovely :)

 

About Bridges

Alternative indie-pop artist Bridges has burst onto the New Zealand music scene, with a new sound of pop melodies soaked in atmospheric guitars and driving rhythms, all set to rich vocal tones expressing a powerful vulnerability. ?

Writing and performing as an acoustic singer/songwriter for years, Rachel Hamilton - the person behind the project - has been diversifying her sound since moving from her home city of Christchurch, to study music in Auckland. Bridges marks the beginning of a new era, of a richer and dramatic sound.

Following the release of her debut single Sister, Bridges featured on RDU and performed live with her band on RNZ, before laying low to finish work on her upcoming debut EP.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Bridges

Releases

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