I am ending the weekend by speaking with Bryony Dunn...
about her latest track, I Can’t Look Away. Her E.P., Full Bloom, came out on Friday so it is a busy time for the young songwriter. She tells me about her musical path and the albums that mean the most to her; what she has planned going forward and which rising artists we need to get behind.
I ask Dunn if she has a favourite memory from her time in music and what sort of sounds she grew up around; what she wants to achieve before the end of the year and whether we might see more material coming – she ends the interview by selecting a great track.
Hi, Bryony. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! It’s not been bad at all, thank you. Started off with a gig at Cardiff University; popped into BBC Introducing Live and then a gig on Saturday at The Gladstone Arms in London – plus, my E.P., Full Bloom, came out. That’s pretty big I guess!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Bryony Dunn. I’m a singer-songwriter based in the Surrey Hills and I make Pop music.
I Can’t Look Away is your new track. What is the story behind it?
It’s a song about feeling pretty low in terms of self-esteem and then having someone - a friend, lover or family member - coming and pushing you to accept yourself and be a better person.
Will there be a music video for I Can’t Look Away do you think?
Hopefully, in early-December. My friend Willow and I have been planning but she’s at university at the moment so I intend to film when she gets back, fingers crossed!
Are you looking ahead to future material? Might we see more next year?
I’ve been writing so much over the past few years. I have a bunch of tracks that I absolutely love that aren’t quite ready yet. Depends what happens with the E.P.!
Can you give me a sense of the artists you grew up around? When did music come into your life?
My parents always played so many different styles of music. The first gig I went to was Madness at the age of six and then the second was a Genesis reunion tour when I was about eleven (?). I also always listened to things like the Spice Girls and Britney Spears as well as Paul Simon and Fleetwood Mac, so it’s pretty eclectic - but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
A New Year’s Eve kiss. If you know anyone who’d be interested, direct them towards my D.M.s. Haha. But, if that’s not achievable then a whole bunch of streams on my E.P. would be really nice.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Yep. I’m spending the first few months in the French Alps as a resident musician in a bar; then, hopefully, getting some more tunes out and doing some more gigs around the U.K.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
I did something I’ve always wanted to do in my gig in Cardiff. Half way through my electronic set; I stepped out totally unplugged into the audience with just me and my guitar and everyone sang along! Insane. It’s my new favourite thing.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Gosh. This is far too difficult; there’s no way I can pick a top-three but I’ll give you three good albums and why I chose them:
Torches by Foster the People means a lot to me because I listened to it on-repeat age fourteen with my good pal Tilda on a family holiday in Provence. We had an earphone each from my little U.S.B. Sony MP3 player (to which I had downloaded the live versions from YouTube of the album because my parents didn’t want to buy them for me) in our little twin bedroom when we were meant to be sleeping. Listening back to it now it still sounds sick.
Every Coldplay album has so much meaning for me and I adore the way that their albums flow from the first song to the last. But, Mylo Xyloto sticks out because, in our music class, three of my loveliest friends and I were allowed to go in a group for the Pop song project and we covered Paradise. We were then asked to perform it in the school concert which was a real beginning for me on the Pop music side of things.
Retrospectacle - The Supertramp Anthology. I remember singing in the back of the car on many long family journeys to Scotland to visit my grandparents. There was a song for every sort of feeling and they really moved me. I was lucky enough to get to see Roger Hodgson live at the Albert Hall once as well.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
It would have to be Coldplay. Their show is always incredible and every support act I’ve seen of theirs has subsequently blown up. As for the rider - a nice bunch of flowers, hot water; honey and lemon; tea and all of the food ever would probably do just fine to be honest.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I’m not sure I can really give advice at this stage, but I asked this same question in a Q&A with Christine and the Queens and she said “Only you know best I think. You can ask for advice if you want but only you know best”. I think that’s pretty good advice.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
On the 25th November, I’m supporting Tom Williams in Guildford and on the 28th November I’ll be at Northern Guitars in Leeds. I’m also planning a bit of a party gig in Dorking on 17th December…so watch this space.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I think time to chill is so important for staying sane. I go out walking with my dog Jasper and I like to read - but there’s nothing quite like a cup of tea and a movie.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
It’s got to be Crying Over You by HONNE. Can’t stop playing that at the minute!
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