By Ashley Farnie
With only 71 monthly listeners on Spotify, Chicago-based BRIDEY’s undiscovered sound includes influences of alternative and indie rock with an emphasis on lyricism to convey the intricacies of life and love.
As the second studio release following their debut album, Honey, in 2019, Pop Diary experiments with more pop-influenced sounds and structures–hence the title– without straying from the authenticity exhibited in previous releases.
The EP cover portrays an 80’s aesthetic, suggesting a dreamy, nostalgic artwork. With attention to detail in the visual representation of the EP, BRIDEY stages the theme of love and loss set in the past decade to the tune of synthpop.
Pop Diary takes us on a journey of self-discovery through a romantic relationship, opening with its first track “Bug.”
“Bug” describes the first encounter with a lover and the feelings of anticipation and excitement that accompany pursuing new relationships. Setting the scene at a party, elements of dream-pop allow the listener to feel connected to the story told through catchy verses continued through a smooth fade out into track 2.
“Sad” describes the intense emotions of missing someone after the first encounter. BRIDEY explores the loss of innocence associated with adulthood and the constant struggle of dealing with personal relationships, making the past seem more appealing than the present.
The alternative rock instrumentation in this track echoes the angst felt entering adulthood and fully abandoning childhood joys.
“Strange Pains” relates the pain of heartache to that of the flu. BRIDEY sings, “maybe I’m not sick but I’m missing you” to convey the intensity of emotional pain. This track takes us through the phase in a relationship where reality takes control and pain begins to set in.
Serving as a sort of interlude for Pop Diary, “I Know It Well” begins with a voice memo stating, “we search for what we know. I know love. I know it well.”
This track features minimal instrumentation, leaving room for a gospel essence of vocals taking you on a spiritual journey. This song would fit well in an indie coming-of-age film focusing on maturation and the loss of innocence. This type of song that makes you want to stare out the car window and pretend you are in a music video.
The fifth and final track of the EP–and my personal favorite–offers a more experimental take on musical sounds. The variance of harmonies and melodies mirrors closely to that of Lorde’s “The Louvre.”
“Year of the Press” highlights the reminiscing aspect of relationships, especially at a time where the presence of mental illness, such as depression, is extremely common.
Closing out the track with “give us the press / we’re so depressed” points towards this generation’s attachment to media outlets which serve as distractions to help overcome the trauma of a past relationship.
BRIDEY’s Pop Diary gives a new meaning to pop music and recognizes the complexity and flexibility within the genre.
Although pop music generally focuses on catchy choruses and upbeat sounds, BRIDEY’sarticulate lyrics prove that depth and variance have a place in the genre and the categorization of musical genres should not limit experimentation.
Add Pop Diary to your summer playlist and stick your head out of the sunroof while driving through a tunnel, Perks of Being A Wallflower style.
Featured image via BRIDEY’s Pop Diary album cover.