BY LINDA GARNETT | INDIE MUSIC WOMEN | FEBRUARY 26, 2021
Bridget Rian grew up on Long Island, New York, and started writing songs at 11 with the guitar her mother bought her for her 10th birthday. The Nashville-based artist says that songwriting was a way for her to process her emotions during her hard high school years. While majoring in music in college, the singer-songwriter found the classical music course requirements difficult for her to fall in love with. Then in the summer of 2019, after a few years and major changes, Bridget decided to move to Nashville to focus on her songwriting career. In the fall of 2020, she signed with Lady Savage MGMT & PR.
Bridget’s debut single, Type of Girl was released on February 26, 2021. The track incorporates Bridget’s unique sound of indie rock, alternative pop, and classic Americana instrumentation. She describes the song as “a commentary on societal gender expectations. Type of Girl is my grasp on self-understanding and forgiveness through the experience of negative relationships.”
Her forthcoming debut EP, Talking to Ghosts, is described as a “delicate, dark, and intricate collection of stories rooted in the bittersweet honesty about the fragile human condition.” In every song, Bridget explores themes of mortality, loss, and nostalgia. She says these are stories that she felt were important to her; the stories that she had to tell.
I recently interviewed Bridget about her debut single, how she developed her unique sound, working with producer Paul Moak, her songwriting journey, her biggest career challenge, and more.
Congratulations, Bridget, on your debut EP, Talking to Ghosts, and debut single, Type of Girl. Thank you! Thank you!
What do you want the listener to come away with after hearing Type of Girl? I want the listener to come away with the feeling of acceptance. I want them to know that no matter what they have done or whatever has happened, they are strong and important. Everybody makes what they perceive as mistakes. Everybody has felt used, not good enough or like they were not true to themselves. Hopefully, they find some strength and self-forgiveness in my song.
The songs on your EP are described as exploring themes of mortality, loss, and nostalgia. Every song has you talking to someone who has died, your past self, or talking about ghosts. Why did you pick these themes and the overall concept for the EP? I think picked is the wrong word to describe how I chose the songs/ topics for this EP. My writing process is really honest and introspective. These are the songs that I wrote that felt important to me at this time. These are the stories I had to tell. It wasn’t until after we recorded and really analyzed what we have made that did we realized the underlying themes in this project.
Describe your experience working and recording with producer Paul Moak. Paul is a kindred spirit. From the moment I met him, he made me feel like my songs mattered and that I had stories that were worth hearing. He really cares deeply about the music he is a part of. He puts together the best players for the project and makes sure the environment is really free and creative.
How did you develop your unique sound of indie pop, alt-rock, and classic Americana instrumentation? Honestly, I put together a playlist of songs that I found influential and sent it to Paul. It had a ton of songs in different genres ranging from Radiohead to Patty Griffin. I love alt-rock/pop melodies and the fullness of the tracks but I also love simple vocals and lap steel so I really wanted to create something special involving a combination of the two. Then we got in the studio and let the band do their magic.
What is your favorite microphone to perform and/or record with and why? Honestly, I am not knowledgeable about music technology at all. I wish I could tell you what mic I sang on in the studio because I loved it. They had me sing into four different types of mics and picked which sounded the best.
Take us through your songwriting journey from when you started writing at age 11, through your high school years, to now. What changed about your writing? Who or what influenced it? My songwriting was much more experimental when I was younger. I wanted to make something really different and cool. As I got older my music taste kept growing and I started listening to all different types of music. I really started getting interested in stories. I started reading more books. I did a few acting classes which made me really get almost obsessed with humanity and the different lives people live.
The songs I liked told stories and I felt like the only way I could process my life was through writing about it. So I did. What has been your biggest challenge or obstacle in your musical journey so far and how did you overcome it? My biggest challenge is trying not to compare myself to other artists. Especially female artists. There is room for all of us to tell our stories.
What does it mean to you personally to be an indie music woman artist? It means supporting other indie women artists and being true to myself and my art!
How do you think women artists can be better supported in the indie music industry? I think the best way to better support women in the music industry is to stream and buy their music (and merch) and go to their shows (when that’s a thing again). If you can’t afford that, you can share their music with a friend, post about them on social media, or make a playlist featuring their music.
What projects do you have planned for this year? I hopefully will have some live performance videos and fingers crossed for more recording!
Thank you, Bridget, for the opportunity to interview you. Type of Girl is available for streaming across multiple platforms: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/bridgetrian/type-of-girl
Visit www.bridgetrian.com for all of the latest news on Bridget Rian, and info on her Livestream shows.