An ethereal experience resonates throughout The Rites, the synthetically entrancing new EP from Bryden.
The London-based pop star takes influence from written works from the likes of Shakespeare, Crowley, and Gawain and visual inspiration from Cronenberg’s works. The overall combination of the R&B and indie rock stylings makes for a delicate and engaging three-track EP that blurs itself into atmospheric beauty.
Opening track Pearl with thematics of the paranormal has a spiritual vibe throughout. The vocals are gospel over a delicate electric organ synth sound giving us the expectation that the sound is going to be a baptism of sorts. The chorus sees electronic vocal edits that build on the ethereal themes as they waiver between the left and right production.
Bryden is able to paint a picture of Pearl so well that a picture is envisioned in your mind from the description and the pounding drums and mish-mash of guitars in the chorus really attack the senses in a good way. You can feel the emotion in Bryden and the point they’re trying to get across as the track blurs between indie rock, goth rock, and emo. A sharp conclusion gives off the idea of instant death and moves into a softer sound.
Blood has a huge Frank Ocean direction, especially with the sickly smooth vocal stylings of Bryden that scream R&B of the 2000s that warm the soul. The rhythms from the drum and bass connection provide a much more upbeat and funky focus and highly separate it and drive new ideas to that of his inspirators.
What Bryden does well with the aforementioned blurring of genres is that their voice is so smooth and enchanting it can slot in perfectly with the instrumentation. From the harmonies to high notes, Bryden begs the question of what is to come from the R&B genre that can take so many influences and directions. Blood while with its religious and darker themes feels so sunny, it’s hard to be taken by the negative themes when the dancing bass and warming guitar tones dance around you.
Leap is the most rock and roll track on the album with more speed to the track and a greater focus on the guitars with chunky chords ringing out in the chorus and a fuller sound behind the vocals. The bass which has been a vital instrument throughout this EP remains soulful, but with a bouncy direction of the indie variety, but takes a back seat to let guitars and drums influence the Leap’s bridge.
Bryden’s vocals reach new highs and the ending is sharp with a desire for so much more, whilst Bryden provides so much variety, their indie rock direction really perked my ears with the hope that Bryden’s future work develops this sound more.
Despite there only being three tracks, Bryden treats us so much with their ability to merge genres together and explore instrumental abilities.