|Bishop Briggs||Bishop Briggs EP|
Bishop Briggs — Bishop Briggs EP (April 14, 2017) ♦ WHERE DO YOU USUALLY LOOK FOR INSPIRATION WHEN CREATING YOUR MUSIC?
★”“★ Bishop Briggs: Hmm, I try to look for inspiration no matter where I am. I do tend to have a bit of a darker perspective when it comes to writing and perhaps a slightly darker take on life situations. So that could be very inspiring. I also think that it’s important to know you don’t have to be in a dark place to write; you can feel so very stable and very calm, but it’s okay to release that different side of you. You should go to the studio no matter what and continue writing.
★”“★ “You don’t have to be in a dark place to write… it’s okay to release that different side of you.”
★”“★ Authentic Trap Soul with a flare of Alternative and R&B. With extremely emotive and powerful vocals that could compete with the likes of Florence Welch, Bishop Briggs has a bright future ahead of her. © Credit: Jabari Jacobs
Birth name: Sarah Grace McLaughlin
Born: 18 July 1992, London, England
Instruments: Vocals piano keyboard
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Album release: April 14, 2017
Record Label: Island Records
1 River 3:35
2 Dark Side 3:29
3 The Way I Do 4:03
4 Wild Horses 3:10
5 Dead Man’s Arms 4:05
6 The Fire 3:03
℗ 2017 Teleport Records under exclusive license to Island Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
Review, Score: *****
★”“★ At this point most people probably know who Bishop Briggs is. She has been a beast performing consistently for the past year and will continue to hit up some of the summer’s biggest festivals in 2017 including Coachella and Bottlerock Napa. I had the pleasure of seeing this high~energetic performer at Bumbershoot last September and I could not get “River” out of my head for months. I kept coming back to this track asking myself, “Who is this girl and how can we get a hold of more of her music?” Well, I finally was able to get my hands on her debut self~titled EP. I could probably sum up this review in one word: Wow! But what fun would that be?
★”“★ You all know the song “River”. It is high energy, deeply emotional and Bishop Briggs holds absolutely nothing back when she unleashes her powerhouse vocals on the chorus. It takes serious talent to be able to pound out such clear, powerful note without wavering. It is also an amazing anthem that just keeps you engaged the entire time. There are no breaks during the track. You are invested from the beginning to end and it goes for the entire album.
★”“★ The British singer~songwriter does not take a single song off on the 6~song EP. “Wild Horses” is dark, bass~driven tracks that conjures heart~pounding emotions. “Dark Side” and “Dead Man’s Arms” more down~tempo, dark pop singles that draw you in with her ability to show tenderness and anger in her emotive voice.
★”“★ I am not sure that I have come across a better EP this year than Bishop Briggs. There are some contenders and it is only April, but we shall see what else the rest of the musical world can come up with. If you are in the area of where Bishop Briggs is playing, I highly recommend you catch her show. She is incredible.
★”“★ http://www.lemonademagazine.net/ © KROQ Weenie Roast 2016
Review & interview:
By Erica Gonzales, Apr 14, 2017
★”“★ The singer talks her new EP, being unfiltered and her love for chokers.
★”“★ Bishop Briggs’ single “River” is one that easily gets stuck in your head. Not because it has a superficial melody or a campy hook — but because the sound smacks you right in the face. It starts off with a whipping percussion and transitions into an explosive chorus that highlights Briggs’ fierce, soulful~rocker vocals. (Think if Florence Welch’s and Adele’s voices had a baby.) Plus, bold, demanding lyrics like, “Shut your mouth and run me like a river” are hard to forget. After being released in January 2016, the track went viral on streaming sites and topped alternative charts.
★”“★ Today, the singer~songwriter (born Sarah Grace McLaughlin) releases her debut self~titled EP, a six~track collection that builds on the power of her singles like “Wild Horses” and “The Way I Do.” With the help of producers Mark Jackson and Ian Scott, she continues to define her “dark pop” alternative style with a dance~like bass, trap~influenced hi~hats and gospel background vocals here and there. An eerie new track called “Dark Side” — with a verse that begins “Welcome to my dark side / It’s gonna be a long night” — is perhaps where she speaks the most honestly. “It’s the person that we are when we close the door,” Briggs explains in our interview.
★”“★ The 24~year~old was born in London, raised in Tokyo and Hong Kong before moving to Los Angeles to kickstart her music career. If not by her voice, you can recognize her by her raven~tressed pigtails, worn as buns, braids or as plain ponies. You’ll be seeing a lot more of her now that she's embarked on her first~ever headlining tour.
★”“★ Before hitting the road, Briggs spoke to HarpersBAZAAR.com about her style, writing process and the backstory behind her biggest song.
On the success of her song “River:”
★”“★ “It’s been a really exciting time. And that was the first song that I wrote with the producers behind the music; that was our first session together. To have this response has been so incredibly cool, and a huge full~circle moment.”
On the lyrics:
★”“★ “It was all about the tension and you can take that and interpret that in whatever way you want, but with nature, it was always something that I always experienced and saw, so it felt like the perfect contrast to life and my hope with that song is that it makes people feel empowered, and take things into their own hands. I always have the visual, especially when I was writing it, to go up to someone’s face and egg them on, and ask them to push you to your limits. I think there is something strong and exciting about that.”On what inspired the sound:
★”“★ “There was the trap influence, there is soul and there is sometimes that rock edge — and it kind of all flows under the alternative umbrella. And from the beginning, I was really inspired by Alabama Shakes and Hozier, at that time, and Jack Garratt as well, and I wanted to make something that felt authentic to me, and felt as honest as possible.”
On how she got discovered:
★”“★ “I was working at a songwriter’s round, I used to play shows in L.A. every couple nights for years. And one of those random nights, this former A&R rep, George Robertson, walked into the place I was singing at. He was there to see a different artists in the songwriter’s round, and I got chosen to go in first. He approached me after, and within a week I got introduced to Mark Jackson and then a couple days later was when we met up for our first session and that’s when ‘River’ came about. We kept on writing and we’re still writing today.”
On who she listened to growing up:
★”“★ “Growing up I was listening to a ton of Motown music, Otis Redding, Aretha, and then there was the Beatles, and Led Zeppelin, and Janis Joplin. These were all people that I felt as though they truly felt every single lyric that they said and they weren’t afraid of imperfection. If anything, they cuddled it and wanted it to be a part of them. That’s what I’ve been drawn to.”
★”“★ “Even if no one hears this and no one listens to this song, I can die happily knowing that I finally felt like myself with my music.”
On being inspired by her father, who isn’t a musician, to pursue music as a career when she was young:
★”“★ “Truly, I never saw myself doing anything other than music. A thing we did as a family was we went to a karaoke bar, and I saw my dad singing Frank Sinatra and immediately I just saw something that I wanted. I saw this light in his eyes, and I think seeing it as a career was something that came a little later because I didn’t know if it was possible, but now I want to do it until the day I die to be truly a fulfilled human being.”
On how writing music is like writing “dark poetry:”
★”“★ “For as long as I can remember, I have always been writing dark poetry and it was my outlet and my therapeutic relief. And I think now, whenever I write there is nothing that will really compare to pen and paper.
★”“★ “The lyrics that you hear in the EP, along those lines, are about looking at things with a darker perspective and having a darker take on the situation. It’s just the more real side of humans. It’s the person that we are when we close the door, and that’s generally the side that is less filtered and it’s a lot less cheery, and it’s very honest.”
On writing music from a place of sadness:
★”“★ “I think whether it’s something you’ve experienced or felt or heard about, there is a sadness element traced along all of my music because I am just trying to be as unfiltered as possible. I think it’s important to note its never coming from an ungrateful place. I am someone who is so grateful and practice gratitude every single day.
★”“★ There is something about that human connection, when someone writes something that hits true to them and honest to them. My hope is that whenever I write that there is someone out there that feels a connection and feels as though I understand what they’re going through because we’ve all been through it.”
On the specific events that inspired the EP:
★”“★ “As a music lover, I always adore when artists write about what’s currently happening in their life. I find that the most interesting to listen to, just because I am extremely nosey. For me, this was such an exciting year compared to all my other years in LA. I also went through a major breakup that fueled a lot of the writing. And I think my love for music and my almost~tumultuous relationship with music will always be a source inspiration in my writing as well.”
On the meaning behind her artistic album cover:
★”“★ “The artist that created that little figurine is this artist named Balloonski. When he created this, it was this little gift for one of my shows. And the moment that we saw it, there was something about it that felt like a more grown~up version of our original stick figure logo. So we were hoping with this symbolic thing would tie into the EP and keep on growing.”
On the moment she realized she found her place:
★”“★ “I think the minute that it all began, it felt like something special. I had been meeting people, and you can tell straight away whether it’s meant to be or not. With this group, I really felt like I was just myself which was so refreshing. After my first session of writing ‘River,’ I sat and actually cried, because in that moment I found what I was actually looking for in L.A. I was looking for myself and how to express myself and my music, and for it to be as transparent as possible. And I just thought, even if no one hears this and no one listens to this song, I can die happily knowing that I finally felt like myself with my music.
On her pigtail~wearing, goth~meets~athleisure style:
★”“★ “I think it’s really similar to the music in the sense of just remaining true to myself. When I was younger, I was always wearing a backwards hat, and it was the ‘90s, but I didn’t get to dive into ‘90s fashion because I was too young for it. So it’s been really nice searching through my closet and searching through eBay and thrift shops and looking for pieces that are vintage and feel worn. And I like being comfy. I jump around on stage like a maniac and I get really sweaty, so it’s important to have things that can handle that.”
On being a “daily choker wearer” and finding a new favorite accessory:
★”“★ “It’s true! But I have gotten really into chains, because I think in a past life I was a rapper and I’ve wanted to wear them, but I am aware that my Instagram bio says that! So whenever I wear a chain, I have to throw on a choker. So, I don’t know, we’ll see how long it lasts.”
On how her unique stage name is a tribute to her Scottish roots:
★”“★ “My whole family is from an area of Scotland called Bishop Briggs. That’s where my entire family lived, so I thought that with the new music and this new chapter, it would be a good way for every time I introduce myself, I would be tipping my hat to them and thanking them for all their support. It’s also a reminder of where I came from and to always remain grounded. They also think it’s funny that my name is Bishop Briggs. It would be very similar if I came to L.A. and was like, my artist name is Los Angeles. They find it very funny, so that’s the story behind it!”
Noted: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thatgirlbishop © Bishop Briggs 5.10.16 Mercury Lounge NYC
|Bishop Briggs||Bishop Briggs EP|