When I walked out of Brooklyn Steel after Bishop Briggs’s set, I was out of breath and didn’t know how I’d make it through another hour of live music. The energizer bunny of performers supported Bleachers on tour this past fall, along with newcomer Aussie Amy Shark. Briggs is celebrated for her breakthrough hits like “River” and “Wild Horses” but what she brings to a live performance can’t be captured in her music alone. Her guttural voice coupled with a quirky 90’s style weave her into a web of nostalgia and heart thumping sounds. From the moment Briggs steps on stage her feet don’t appear to stop moving and her voice refuses to waiver.
“Probably nap,” she says with a laugh of her unexpected pre-show preparation. “The minute I go on stage is really like the becoming of a non-human and becoming an animal. I just dive into the adrenaline and excitement,” she adds.
When Briggs first arrived on the scene in 2015 with “Wild Horses,” there was an instant buzz around her name. She spent the year steadily climbing the charts, performing and showing the world her voice. “When I first started performing, a lot of my music was unreleased. So, I really wanted to go into the shows and let my music do the storytelling,” she says of the point she made in the beginning to limit how much she spoke to the audience during shows. “Now, it’s a little different. I’m trying to let people in and let down the wall. I hope they can experience something unique and something they might not get from the record,” she explains.
In April 2017 Briggs released her debut self-titled EP, featuring two previously unreleased songs, “Dark Side” and “The Fire.” The EP also included “River” and “Wild Horses” but it was a way to introduce her to the world outside of those hits. “Nobody knew who I was when “River” and “Wild Horses” were written. So, going into the writing process after that, I established a ‘no phones’ rule in the studio,” she says. “It was really tempting to keep your phone on but when you’re getting notifications about prior songs, it makes it a different writing experience.” She admits that because of the dark moments and memories she’s recollecting through her music, it’s helpful to escape the critique of social media for a few moments. “It’s a blessing to be getting feedback but I think it’s good to go back to the basics every once in a while,” she says.
Coming off a tour with Bleachers and Alt-J in 2017, along with collaborating with Cold War Kids on “So Tied Up,” Briggs is looking to 2018 with bigger dreams. “More shows, more music, more content! I just hope that I can make an even bigger connection with the people listening to my music.”