Following the release of his debut single 'Blood', we caught up with London Indie-Pop/Rock artist 'bryden' to find out what influences go into his eclectic sound. If you like bryden's picks be sure to check out 'Blood' at the end of the article.
1. The Smiths - Still Ill (John Peel version)
"I’ve had such a weird relationship with the Smiths, they were my dad’s favourite band and I tried really hard to love them as a kid but didn’t really get it at the time. I then got in a semi-serious scuffle on their behalf at school because someone said that listening to them was a homophobic slur. It took me till I was in second lockdown and falling head over heels with a girl from manchester after having been really quite sad to decide that they might be my favourite band. Still Ill might be the best of the bunch. Between the storytelling, the narcissism and the despair I think it might be one of the most perfect songs ever. The John Peel version just elevates it even further as Johnny Marr’s guitar enters the divine realm and it becomes a proper-get-on-your-feet-and-jump-about level bop."
2. Willow - Come Home ft. Ayla Tesler-Mabe
"This is such a good song to cry to. I really do love Willow’s voice and when I saw it performed live in Camden I was truly moved. The melodies are gorgeously constructed and Tyler Cole’s staccato instrumental harbours a chest-crushing magic to it. I have to admit that her saying it was about negating jealousy in polyamorous relationships kind of ruined it for me because I had constructed a whole personal narrative to the lyrics. But I think the universality of the feeling and the trenchant sense of yearning she infuses into every phrase lets me go full Death of the Author here and sticking by it as a song I absolutely adore."
3. Lil Peep ft Lil Tracy - witchblades
"Transportive and nihilistic in the extreme. I think Lil peep is the closest to something genuinely punk we’ve had in a long time. Give me breath-stealing delivery and a bass-boosted trap instrumental and I’m in heaven. Slightly embarrassing but a group of friends ironically called ourselves the gothboiclique when we’d all gone through break-ups at the same time and pretty much exclusively listened to lil peep, painted our nails and numbed ourselves with anything available to hand. It was perfect."
4. Leonard Cohen - Take This Waltz
"Every single lyric from this is utterly gorgeous, and I wouldn’t mind tattooing any line from it on my skin. In terms of marrying poetry and music together, I think Cohen is the greatest of all time. The fact that he not only transubstantiates poetry into song but translates the words of Lorca into English is a feat of pure alchemy. The gentle crooning is bewitching and leaves you certain you have walked through Vienna yourself, and knowing in your heart all facets of dread and beauty which make up our love and our mortal lives. Special mention to the violin, and husky whispered voice of Jennifer Warnes which ensures that Cohen’s performance becomes terrifyingly beautiful and adds a whole new dimension of storytelling to the arrangement."
5. The Neighbourhood - Baby Came Home 2 / Valentines
"I couldn’t exclude this song from the list because of the way the instrumental hits you like a truck on minute 2.17. The timbre of the guitar at that part makes you want to scream in the rain. I’m really jealous of the confidence in the songwriting here it’s so delicately and gorgeously structured. It oscillates between these sumptuous melodies with an inviting softness to a distressing, dreadful pain. Their ability to balance those nuanced emotions and create music that’s so human and accessible is genius."
Watch bryden 'Blood'