The Multiple Sides of 2016's Breakout Artist, Bishop Briggs

By Delaney Clifford

Bishop Briggs has hit 2016 with incredible force and inexplicable calm through the release of her two singles, “River” and “Wild Horses.” Briggs, who was born in London with Scottish and Irish heritage, grew up in Japan and Hong Kong, where she gathered influences that are all too apparent in these two songs. Capturing the European grit that runs through her veins and incorporating the discipline and control of her Eastern-world upbringing, Briggs brings us two singles with dance-inducing crescendos and sultry releases into a hazy head-nod, making for a hell of a ride all throughout.

    Beginning with “Wild Horses” at the beginning of 2016, Briggs created a track with the help of Los Angeles producers Mark Jackson and Ian Brendon Scott that conveyed both her softer side and her heart-pounding angst that dwelled within. The track begins with Briggs’ smooth voice reeling her audience in, soon to be sucked in by the percussive cacophony laid over the ever-smooth guitar riff that persists throughout the song. However, Briggs doesn’t stop there; she pushes the bounds of her sound and includes resounding electronic beats that throw every listener for a loop. What was expected to be a string-plucking folk song has now burst into a energetic, pounding triumph, never forgetting to recognize Briggs beautiful voice. “Wild Horses” brings the listener into the scene— an open plain, surrounded by the calm of the fresh air, the emptiness of it all. But before you know it, you can hear those hooves pounding towards you, making your heart skip and jump in bounds, exciting you nonetheless. Briggs has the special ability of the artist to pull her audience into the sound she created, and somehow change the perception of what that music is supposed to sound like.

    Moving onto Briggs’ latest single, “River,” listeners find a familiar sound, but something has changed about Bishop Briggs; her voice has found new power, which she uses to its full potential to belt out the chorus of this nearly Wild-Western sounding track. When I first listened to it, all I could imagine was looking out over a canyon, watching the sunset over the powerful Colorado River. But before the listener can fall into rest with that scene, Briggs shocks you right back into chaos, using backing gang vocals and the ever-familiar pounding electric drums. Parts of this track suck the air right out of the room, but Briggs never fails to throw us right back into the mix with her smooth guitar playing and slick voice. “River” has something for everybody.

    With these two singles, Briggs has introduced us to her sound that pulls from different audiences and newly explored combinations, highlighting the very best of her artistry and leaving us only wanting more. 

You can catch Bishop Briggs on tour at the following dates:

June 4th @ Live 105 BFD // Mountain View, CA

June 7th @ Troubadour // Los Angeles, CA

June 18th @ Shadow of the City // Seaside Heights, NJ

July 1st – 2nd @ Mamby on the Beach // Chicago, IL

July 23rd @ Mo Pop Festival // Detroit, MI

July 24th @ WayHome Music & Arts Festival // Ontario, Canada

September 2nd – 4th @ Bumbershoot // Seattle, WA