Bridie O’Brien



Bridie O’Brien is a Sydney based musician.

A free-spirited beauty who is both self-deprecating and disarmingly unaffected. Highway Heart is the second album by the Australian singer/songwriter,and is a perfect introduction to her individual style of music and strong signature vocals. She is currently recording her third album on the Caribean island of Anguilla.

I had the pleasure of catching up with Bridie in Melbourne:

AJ: Tell us about yourself in five words

Bridie: Passionate – Hard Working – Musical – Renegade.

AJ: Where do you get your inspiration from and how would you describe your style of music?

Bridie: I approach songs from a poetic perspective, always. The lyrics can appear mysterious, but they are just there to engage the imagination of the listener. Every lyric comes from a real experience, there is no fiction, however, there is grey space. Writing occurs when overwhelming emotion, directly attached to vague imagery and distant melody, storm. Inspiration is a funny thing, I couldn’t pin point the factors or its providence. Emotional distress? Maybe. The misty mountain top where I live? Maybe. My musical style has always been heart pounding, emotive and genre bending. It is, however, heavily influenced by the vast colours and textures of the Blues, and songwriters of the 70′s and 90′s. Hopefully it comes across as unusual, personal and raw.

AJ: Who has influenced you in your career?

Bridie: Songwriting: Sting, Frank Zappa, Prince, Ernest Ranglin, Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles, Lonnie Johnson, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, Leonard Cohen, Bonnie Prince Billy, Neil Young, Don Walker, Bruce Springsteen, John Frusciante, Paul Simon, Kurt Cobain, Buck 65, Annie Lennox, Johnette Napolitano, Be Good Tanyas, Gillian Welch, Fleetwood Mac, Mazzy Star, Nina Simone, Cyndi Lauper, Janis Ian. – A mixture of all of the above.

Performing: Early Cold Chisel, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Chrissy Amplett, Eva Cassidy, Led Zepplin, Nirvana.

AJ: Do you listen to a lot of music, and who do you listen to?

Bridie: Oh yes. The stereo is almost always humming a tune. Everything from Art Blakley to Bonnie Prince Billy, with lashings of Black Dub, Buck 65, Chopin and Concrete Blonde. And of course The Black Keys, Easy Star All Stars, and the Be Good Tanyas.

AJ: What can we expect from your live shows?

Bridie: Witness me singing out a heated discussion to myself. Witness on stage banter, poetic ramblings and good old-fashioned Rock n Roll. The shows are visually dynamic as I perform with two drummers.

AJ: Do you get nervous before a performance and how do you channel the nerves?

Bridie: Yes. Usually I have a quick chat to Jack Daniels!

AJ: What do you do to relax when away from music?

Bridie: I like to swim in the ocean, ride motorbikes, bush walk with my dogs and cook delicious meals. I love to cook. And I also love a good Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir.

AJ: What is next for Bridie O’Brien?

Bridie: I am lucky and crazy enough to have been presented with an opportunity to record my third album in Anguilla, a remote island in the Caribbean.

I am certain this is one adventure that will produce some extraordinary sounds. There is a strong sense of Buena Vista Social Club meets Arabian blues riffs over reggae beats & Spanish progressions with local Anguillian guest appearances and all polished off with Ashfield spunk.

It is with immense pleasure and pride that I can announce I will be teaming up with award winning producer Syd Green on this album.

AJ: If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Bridie: A film maker or motor cross superstar. I could never choose between the two.

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