An Introduction to Bishop Briggs
Sarah Grace McLaughlin is better known by her stage name Bishop Briggs, a girl of 24 born in England but brought up in Japan. Her Scottish heritage influenced her stage name and the karaoke bars of Tokyo gave her the unique taste of music she has that ranges from Motown musicals to The Beatles. In 2016 she released a limited edition self-titled EP that contained five of her single.
"Wild Horses" is one of Bishop Briggs most popular singles, starting with a soft introduction and building quickly to a dark, electronic pop chorus with a pounding drum line that really sets the pace for the song. The beat is strong throughout the song, and you really get the sense of the rushed galloping of horses. It's an incredibly strong start to such an amazing EP and it sets the tone for some incredible dark pop.
The second single on this self-titled EP is "River", the song that really put Bishop Briggs on the map. It's reminiscent of Queen's "We Will Rock You" with the beat being set by stomping and clapping, possibly a song she knew well due to her growing up around a large karaoke scene.
In this song, we really see the vocal range of Bishop Briggs come into effect. The verses are light and soft, quickly building to an amazingly powerful chorus with a voice few could match. It’s a must listen to, and really shows you everything that is Bishop Briggs; strong bass, hints of electric, pop and rock, and a voice that’ll knock you off your feet.
"The Way I Do"
In "The Way I Do", Bishop Briggs sings more melodically, with her strong voice still coming through but with less of the powerful, hard to hit notes. It’s a slightly softer song for her with more of an electronic and gospel feel to it. The lyrics speak of the Lord and the devil, making the gospel aspect of the backing vocals rather apt. It’s a solid song, but rather repetitive in chorus, but I think the range of her voice make it seem less of a monotonous song. Still a great song, but maybe not the strongest on her album.
"Pray (Empty Gun)"
"Pray (Empty Gun)" is by far my personal favourite from Bishop Briggs. Again she calls on her reference to religion and love in her lyrics, but there’s just something more poetic about it compared to her other songs. The verses are delicate, especially for Bishop Briggs, but the pre-chorus builds quickly the strength for a powerful chorus with a fantastic bass and electronic feel to it. I feel like this song is more unique with the backing track, even though it does follow the strong drum beat that all her songs share. It’s an incredible track, and I never get bored of it.
"Be Your Love"
"Be Your Love" is the last track on this EP and it’s much more “chill” than the rest of her songs. The backing and vocals are a lot softer, but still clearly a Bishop Briggs song. It has a more R&B kind of feel to it, with the backing track feeling smoother than the guitar and heavy electronic style she favours in her other songs. It’s a good finish to the EP, bringing all the power to a soft close that makes you satisfied rather than waiting for more.
Overall, Bishop Briggs’ first EP is a fantastic introduction to her as an artist. It’s a dark side to pop not often explored and the collaboration of genres mix so well with her husky yet smooth vocals. Although her tracks do share a lot of similarities that make them blend somewhat, I still think each song is distinct enough to make it a good EP.
January 22nd, 2017 at 05:58pm
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