Not many new singer-songwriters can say they’ve received international airplay, but for Esme Bridie, her angelic vocals and folky music has already been warming hearts across the UK and beyond. Hailing from Merseyside and studying at Leeds College of Music, the young singer’s debut album, Today It Rains, is set for release in February through independent Liverpool music label, Klee Music.
The singer’s freshness that comes with her youth offers a spark of vitality to the album, and yet her lyrics are mature beyond her years. That being said, the words ring true, encompassing a rich authenticity of life’s experiences that is refreshing for such a young songwriter. Esme cites Carole King, Paul Simon, and Leonard Cohen as influences of her music, and it’s clear that she’s drawn bits from each of these celebrated musicians when crafting her own songs.
Opening track on Side A is the uplifting ‘Self Destructive’; Esme’s vocals switch between a sweet softness and an empowered exclamation, as she looks towards the silver lining of hardships. The bridge ‘there’s no use in crying’ is a wise sentiment that is sure to resonate with listeners, and is an impressive entrance to the singer’s debut album.
‘What You Had Yesterday’ gives Esme the chance to further experiment with her vocal capacity, singing alongside the silky sounds of strings and her own acoustic guitar strumming. The track exudes a closeness to nature as both vocals and instrumentals weave in a birdsong-like chorus, ending ‘and you just want back what you had yesterday’. The video provides the perfect backdrop for the song as Esme wanders alone through a woodlands area beneath a gentle canopy of trees.
Third track, ‘Tower of Regret’ has an infectious jingling beat with Esme’s hushed tones melding among the cacophony of instrumentals. Next up, ‘Only Lonely People’ is by far the most melancholic of the album’s tracks, as Esme’s vocals have a whispered, haunting quality that will raise goose bumps on your skin. The rise and fall of her voice and crescendo of violins offers an unusual serenity for such wistful lyrics, ‘you could touch my skin, you could sink you fingers in, you could have my body but I trust nobody with my soul’.
Whilst ‘Only Lonely People’ had a deep-rooted sense of sadness, ‘Big Brown Boots’ seems more hopeful. Esme’s light hum adds buoyancy to lyrics like ‘stuck in your big brown boots, if they don’t fit you […] but keep on walking on’. ‘Strangers’ brings Side A to an anthemic close thanks to the echoing quality of Esme’s vocals and clarity of strings.
Side B opens with the joyous ‘In Love With The City’. Whilst Side A was more reflective, this track looks outwards, celebrating the buzz of city life in comparison to the peace of the natural world. ‘Old Love (How Did We Get This Way’ sings of heartbreak but with a optimistic outlook. Esme has a way of making her lyrics read like poetry in parts, singing ‘I was reminded of you when the leaves began to fall’.
Third track ‘The Queen Bee’ is unlike anything that’s come before it; the instrumentals are more experimental and Esme’s voice is brimming with confidence, creating a unique, lively tone that blends nicely with the humming beat.
Returning to the softness of many of the other songs on the album, ‘Dirty Hands’ weaves delicate lyrics into the acoustic guitar harmonies. There’s a meditative element to the song, tapping into a more vulnerable side of the singer, evoking a level of intimacy for listeners.
Penultimate track, ‘Only Young’, encapsulates Esme’s spiritedness and raw talent, drawing the album near to its triumphant end. The music flows naturally into the final song, ‘Precious Life’, which is a jangling assortment of strings and drums, tying Today It Rains off with a final reverie that will leave you pondering: ‘precious life […] you better live it right’.
If this album is anything to go by, the singer can expect to captivate even more listeners with her dreamy lyrics and lucid truthfulness.
The album’s official launch party will take place on Thursday 22nd March at Studio 2 on Parr Street. The singer is also playing an Acoustic Night alongside Elijah James and Sophie Whittle, hosted by Klee Music on Saturday 10th February at 81 Renshaw.