With a variety of venues played, countries toured and established acts supported Sarah Howell better known as Bryde has released a new addition to her upcoming EP. ‘Honey’ offers an alternative style to Brydes signature atmospheric and calmer tracks, pandering to a faster and accented structure. With a powerful projection, and tantalizing imagery throughout her songs, Bryde is quick becoming one of the more recognized names in indie music, and subsequently received praise from Radio 1, 6Music, and The Line of Best Fit amongst others.
The Welsh singer songwriter is truly coming into her own and GIGsoup were able to sit down with the up-and-coming star as she talks about her recent support of Rufus Wainwright, her endeavors in L.A. and her emphasis on ‘human psychology’ in her music.
You’re setting off an a tour around the UK hitting some intimate venues like Fallow Café in Manchester, London’s Courtyard Theatre and Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge. Do you prefer these quieter and smaller stages as opposed to the bigger venues where connection to the audience is arduous to achieve as a solo performer?
I love playing live so any sized room is a joy. I think if a room is busy there’s usually a better atmosphere but intimate venues do have something special about them. I’m hoping to play to more and more people gradually but I’d never want to play for example, the O2 arena or Wembley. I just don’t think my music would translate to those places. I’d rather do 2 nights at the Village Underground or the Royal Albert Hall!
You recently opened for Rufus Wainwright at the Brighton Dome. Can you touch on the experience, and how it felt to open for an iconic name early on in your career?
It was early on in my career as Bryde yes so I felt really grateful to be given the chance to play to so many people. I’m quite experienced at playing live with past projects so I felt ready to do it. For that reason it was a dream gig really. The audience was incredibly warm. I met Chris Sorem Rufus’ sound engineer there who has this amazing studio in L.A. where I subsequently went on to to record my song ‘Transparent’. Feels like a lot of things have fallen into place with Bryde.
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Your music deals with ‘human psychology, and the darker side of broken relationships’. Is there ever a fear of over confiding in your music, in revealing something too personal, especially to new audiences?
Yes! Every now and then I feel very exposed and also have to ask myself why I’m being so honest. But without sounding incredibly cheesy I really do feel it’s a duty to do something useful with any platform you’re given, so if the songs can reach someone and help them make sense of something they’re feeling then it’s worth it. And it’s hugely cathartic too to explore difficult emotions and topics, so I definitely benefit from pouring my heart out.
Your new single ‘Honey’ offers a harder and grungier sound, in comparison to your earlier releases ‘Wait’ & ‘Nectar’ which resemble a quieter and reflective ideology. Is this a new direction you’re embarking on creatively, or did Bill Ryder-Jones (The Coral), have a bigger input into your sound?
The change of sound is mainly down to playing lots of shows on electric guitar and enjoying more and more the noise I can make with it. I’d been playing acoustic for years before that. But the rest of the EP is quite varied and there are definitely a couple of reflective songs on there of the Nectar ilk. I never want to restrict myself to a narrow sound. When I heard Bill’s music I just knew he could bring something to my sound that it needed. Can’t really put my finger on what it is, just something quite raw. There’s a sense of abandonment to the recordings. Nothing is too over-treated or over-thought, it’s instinctive rather than contrived. Everyone always mentions The Coral but I didn’t even realise he’d been in that band until after we booked the session in.
Excerpts from your performances, such as the recent Villers-sous-Grez gig, shows how translatable your sound is, as it crosses from a full backing band in your EPs to solo performances. Have you ever played with the idea of touring with a full band, and do you write your songs with a backing arrangement in mind?
The freeing thing about being a solo artist for me is that I don’t feel any constraints when arranging songs in the studio. What’s important when I’m writing is that it sounds powerful with my voice and a guitar. So even though I can sometimes hear that it’ll be good with drums on the record, it doesn’t have to have them live. I like the contrast between recorded and live music. I don’t find it particularly interesting to replicate a recording exactly as it is, live. Saying all of this, I will be performing a few songs with my band for the first time at my London at The Courtyard Theatre on Thursday 13th Oct which is an exciting prospect!