27 Feb 2024
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Bridges - EP Review: Twenty Something

19 Oct 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant

Indie-pop starlet Bridges is a creative based in Tamaki Makaurau, now debuting with the high drama of her first EP Twenty Something. Developing as an artist for several years, this project speaks perfectly to the character that the real-world Rachel Hamilton is ready to transform into as the one and only Bridges.

Kicking the collection off dramatically, Misfits is a dynamic pop track tinged with elements of punk and indie rock. Its chorus packs a huge punch, energetic and danceable in its sharp guitars and upbeat drums. It's a joyous track celebrating identity chaos, an exciting opener, but perhaps the only song that doesn't feel quite cohesive amongst the EP's otherwise relatively clean pop sound and expressive themes.

Early single Pills drips with smooth, sparkling synths in the veins of acts like CHVRCHES and Lauv. Sonically, it fits into the alternative Tumblr-style pop of the mid-2010s, an era rapidly gaining a sense of nostalgia around it. Pills knows this and deliberately plays off of it, with its lyrics diving into how medication can aid mental health struggles, and Bridges' affected vocal performance. No doubt this song will speak to an increasingly distraught younger generation, who can relate to the themes of finding light in an ever-darkening world.

On the opposite end of the scale, Okay, Alright refuses to mask its heavy emotion behind chart-ready production. Instead, this song is a distorted, layered ballad which sees Bridges show vulnerability, whilst maintaining mystery as to what she's really singing about. "I was a child", she says delicately. There's a shudder to her voice that makes the questions this line brings up all the more interesting than if she were to spell it out.

Gone makes for an appropriate finale in its slow, cinematic build. Its hook shivers with intensity as Bridges declares herself "stuck in the middle of a post-love war". Slick guitar riffs and a constant feeling of tension and release in this track make it exemplary of the best in the genre. 

It's clear Bridges' recent shift from soft singer-songwriter material into fully fledged indie-pop has strengthened her craft and brand considerably. This is a powerful debut that unveils more depth with each listen, forging a path for Bridges as one of Aotearoa's most exciting new voices.

 

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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