Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ears to the Ground: "End of the Road" by Bridges

Bridges will be performing at Slim's on Friday
Aug. 9 w/ The Missionaries
Bedroom pop is a loose term that gets tossed around a lot lately. Couldn't anything be bedroom pop if you're getting down to semantics? All you really need is some basic equipment and a condenser mic to create your own blend of lo-fi tunes, but to me the term follows a more rigid outline. It's music with a pop foundation that you can lose yourself inside of. It's music with introspective leanings that you just want to curl up and immerse yourself in. Enter Bridges.

Bridges is the pseudonym for the solo efforts of Brian Franklin and the project couldn't be more aptly titled. The songs that comprise Bridges' upcoming debut album Glassmask are like aural bridges into the psyche of Franklin. Throughout the past few months Bridges have slowly rolled out a handful of singles from the album, providing a solid outline of the albums aesthetics. Tracks like "Tonight" and "Never Loved You" both glide along with sharp drumbeats, simplistic progressions and pop-leaning vocal melodies. Think of a less frenetic version of Ghostt Bllonde and you'd be pretty on par. "Tonight" displays manic depressive tendencies with a tinge of desperation through an awfully catchy refrain that would feel cheesy if it weren't so heartfelt. "I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die/But I don't wanna be alive, wanna be alive tonight."

Meanwhile cuts like "Never Loved You" are brimming with nervous energy and an earnest approach to lyricism that can be found through the entirety of Glass Mask. Franklin shamelessly bemoans of being "hysterical" and having "too much wine" while continuing with juxtaposed lyrics that try to justify to listeners and himself just how over this failed relationship is.

Today we're debuting the third single from Glassmask, the triumphant album closer "End of the Road." "End of the Road" continues along with the same timespan references that are found in "Never Loved You", Franklin continually draws back to "8 months ago"which is a subtle detail that adds an immense amount of personality to the songs. "End of the Road" builds upon a driving drumbeat and spacey, atmospheric instrumentation, but lyrically the song represents the feeling of closure. Both to the album and to the clearly therapeutic sessions of songwriting and rebuilding. "If you want it to hurt," croons Franklin "you should have done it eight months ago. 'Cause now I'm a stone."

Bridges feels like an extension to Franklin's self and Glassmask is simply the thin veil that he can hide behind to convey his innermost thoughts and feelings. But projects like Bridges are one of the reasons that music remains so interesting to me, songs like those found on Glassmask can provide a window for listeners to peer through and connect with a songwriter's sentiments. Is the music groundbreaking? No, but it comes from a place of sincerity and music like that simply can't be replicated.

You can check out Bridges' live show at Slim's in Raleigh this Friday when they open up for Virginia's The Missionaries. But first take a listen to their brand new single "End of the Road."

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