Esme Bridie is a singer-songwriter who has just released remarkably honest and mature debut album “Today It Rains”. This week, “Only Lonely People” made a debut on my Indie Top 39. I wanted to get to know Esme and her creative process a little better.
Congratulations, on the 23rd of March, you have released a brutally honest debut album “Today It Rains”. What was the inspiration behind the album? Did you have the concept of what you wanted it to be straight away, or it shaped later when the songs were finished?
As this is my first album, I wanted it to be a collection of the songs I was proudest of when we first started making it so it wasn’t really a concept in that way. There were, of course, a couple of songs which I did write specifically for the album while we were in the process of making it though. The newer songs include “Strangers” and “In Love with the City”.
How long did it take you to record the album?
It took about a year and a half to record and produce the album entirely. It was dragged out a little bit because I’m based in Leeds at the moment but was recording it in Liverpool so I was travelling between the two cities during the process. Looking back now though, it feels like it flew by.
You can touch my skin, you could sink your fingers in, you could have my body, but I trust nobody with my soul
“Only Lonely People” is such an honest and beautiful song. Was it hard to put it out there?
Yes, that song is very honest and it can feel very exposing putting such personal songs out into the world. It’s especially strange because I am a very private person.
I have found that the most personal songs are the ones that people relate to the most and it makes me realise how everyone goes through the same things in life.
I love that songs can allow people to share that in a way.
It sounds you’ve been through a lot of heartaches. Which song makes you the most emotional while performing?
I’m not sure if I have been through a lot of heartaches really haha! I am just a bit of an old soul as people say and also very reflective. Some of my songs do come from a place of heartache I suppose though. “Only Lonely People” and “Dirty Hands” are the most emotional for me and always seem to take me someplace else when I perform them live.
How does your creative process look like?
I am pretty much always lead by emotions, so I usually start with a lyrical idea or a feeling. Then I try some chords and start coming up with melody lines. If it’s a good idea, the song will usually come out of me quite fast. If it’s more of a struggle, I often move on to something else.
Have you ever experienced out of this world situations when the inspiration took over, and you couldn’t remember how the song (or parts of it) came to you?
Yes, it’s such a strange thing when a song seems to come out of you as if from nowhere. I find that those tend to be the best songs usually which is odd because they take the least effort to write.
How do you know when the song is finished?
I suppose you just know in a way. I often find that playing a song live for the first time seals the deal because then other people have heard it too.
Listen to Esme Bridie’s debut album “Today It Rains”
Is your music more inspired by the situations when something bad happened like a breakup, betrayal or you can easily write songs when you are happy with life too?
Well, I think it is easier to write about sad or upsetting things and sometimes it can be tough to get out something deep and meaningful when everything is okay or good. I think it is important to try and draw on those emotions too though because having a mix of themes is essential especially on something like an album. I don’t want people to just feel sad when listening to my songs, I want people to feel hopeful or reflective.
There are more emotions to portray than just happy and sad. That’s what I try and get in my music.
Do you have any ritual before writing music/performing?
Right before I perform, I always need a moment on my own. I do get very nervous when I play so I just need a few minutes to get my head in the right place before I go on stage. I find that if I imagine being on stage briefly before I go on it makes it less of a shock to the system when I’m up there.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
I love playing the “Queen Bee” live at gigs especially with my band. We give it a swing feel and it’s just so fun!
How would you define success in the music business?
I guess you’re successful if you’re doing what you love and it makes you happy.
What are the key elements to be a successful artist in the 21 century?
I think you have to be quite business savvy as you have to do much more of that on your own. You also have to have a good presence on social media as that is a big part of it now.
Who had the most significant influence on your music?
Musically I am influenced by songwriters like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan as well as newer artists like Laura Marling and The Staves.
I’m just drawn to good songs and honest voices.
Do you have a song that when you hear it, you’d be like “Damn, I wish I’d written that”?
It’s so amazing! I love the line “I could drink a case of you and I’d still be on my feet”. I imagine when she came up with that she was just like “Yes that’s it!” It is so good!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be more confident and not worry what people think too much. I probably still need to take that advice sometimes!
What would you say to those who want to create music but feel a bit stuck?
Don’t overthink it! It seems that’s what makes you feel stuck most of the time and you just have to let go and try things.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
In my dreams, I would love to collaborate with The First Aid Kit. They are so amazing and always look like they have so much fun!
What can we expect from you in 2018?
In 2018 I hope to be gigging as much as I can, promoting the album. I have quite a lot of new songs written so maybe I’ll start working on a new one too!
ESME BRIDIE will be performing live at:
April 25th » The Lending Room Leeds » supporting Roof
May 10th » Focus Festival, Wrexham
June 2nd » Long Division Festival » Wakefield
July 6th » 81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool » supporting Siobhan Wilson