Article and Photos: Nick Durcholz
Louisville, KY – There are few new artists in the glaring limelight who have fallen upon my ears with more gravity than Bishop Briggs. Live? She is an emotional panorama made from her experiences crafted chaotically as both cutting and gentle brushstrokes.
The moment I heard the track “River,” I knew there was something special about this artist. It seamlessly sluices the brackish water of forgotten blues artists with the colorful syrup of modern rap all with the voice of a sultry seraphim. The stilted blow of the bass with the visceral smash of the lightbulb in the beat is pure audio intoxication. A song that titillates, empowers and enrages. It was and is a passionate and poignant track in the bleak, banal landscape of pop music.
Apologies, that song is simply a masterpiece that I could ramble on for hours about. Purely mesmerizing. So, needless to say, Ms. Briggs performance Friday night almost immediately illustrated how she could craft such a dynamic and powerful track. Naturally, the storm formed with the clashing of two fronts, unabashed and unchecked emotion slamming into a radiant energy so pure and bright it could’ve been forged by a reactor. I felt, fear, love, sadness, anger and joy in a matter of seconds so concentrated its half-life would be a thousand years.
For as much as it was a squall, it was a summer breeze. The times it was a breeze, I felt as if I was at a childhood sleepover with a friend sharing impossibly secret feelings and revelations. This was amplified by her late 90’s comfy duds. Her openness was contagious, gorgeous, and most importantly, endlessly endearing. When it was a squall, I felt like an ex-lover with her lyrical knife millimeters from my throat daring me to move. Her pain was palpable and I absorbed it like a sponge. She kindly dedicated a song to the LGBTQ community as they just had a pride celebration in Louisville for the month and being a common cis male myself, I still felt instantly inspired, emboldened and loved. To me, the true spirit of pride for every color in the spectrum.
Despite yearning more lyrically from a few of the songs, I couldn’t have had a more positive experience. Volumes are spoke about a person when they can single-handedly – in a very public setting – make you feel like they are your best friend of years and years and that you are at a sleepover together fusing your most intimate feelings and experiences.
A beautiful thing on a beautiful night.