When Bryn McCutcheon was writing her first album, Freefall, she was falling in love for the first time – an experience that is completely reflected in the lyrics and production of the album.
When she made her second album, Gone, that love had come to an end and so had the innocent, young and fall-head-first kind of girl Bryn used to be. Bryn sings, “I’m not beads on a thread, you can’t string me along, and then take me to bed.”
The artist is able to convey all the roller-coaster of emotions that come along with a breakup – emotions that most people can’t always put into words – in an incredibly raw and honest way.
Her third album, Tempest, which comes out at May, is quite different than all her previous work – it’s not about guys at all.
The album is edgy, unapologetic and about the process of coming full circle and finding power within yourself. When Bryn was in the process of writing her first album, she was only 18 years old and in her first year of university – now, 4 years later, she is ready to graduate from Western and continue to pursue her musical journey.
Bryn processes all of the elements of an all-encompassing artist – with her ukulele in hand, lively voice, clever lyrics and alternative sound.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to pursue being a musician?
B: It was after I recorded my first album – that’s when I really started performing at Western. I had this moment where I realized I was in a media program and while it was really interesting to study, it wasn’t something that made me lose time or make me feel passionate the way that music does. It’s something that I haven’t found in anything else that I do.
Q: It must be difficult juggling being a student and a musician who consistently performs. How do you handle it?
B: I was actually performing a lot more before but I’m starting a new duo called Monochrome and we are recording our first album together – so that’s a lot of work and time put into that, which leaves less time for performing. It’s a really hard balance though, but I make it work. I’m taking two online classes this year, I also have to sacrifice a bit of my social life but it works.
It doesn’t feel like a choice. It’s just two full time things and I’m doing it. I can’t imagine not doing it.
Q: What was it like shooting Weight of the World, your first music video?
B: Giddy. It was so much fun. I was really lucky to be working with some super talented people and the whole experience was awesome. It was actually really funny because the night prior was the first time I had ever pulled an all-nighter, then I had to drive back to London and I was so exhausted.
Then we had to wake up at 4 a.m. the next morning to get the sunrise – Krista is there doing my hair and makeup while I’m sitting there half asleep. We go out onto this field and Krista is just playing the song from her fanny pack. Then in the last dock scene, we didn’t realize that the dock was about to completely sink, so here’s Alex with his amazing camera and ducked behind the dock is Krista and Connor. Then every time we had to shoot the scene they had to go underwater and hold the dock in place.
Q: Favourite lyric that you’ve written?
B: The thing about being a songwriter is that I think everything is gold the moment I write it, then I’ll come back to it a week later and be like, what was I thinking?
But I will say that some of my favourite lyrics are the ones that I’m writing now. I’ll come back to it and be like, okay yeah, wow – some of it needs rewording but its coming from a place that’s authentic and well-articulated.
Q: How is your new album different than your previous ones?
B: Tempest has a bit of a sexier feel to it. The things I write about now are also a bit different. Sure, there are still romantic elements to the album but it’s much more about coming into your own power.
Q: Who are some musicians who inspire you?
B: My all time favourite female vocalist is this alternative, pop, dark, electro girl called Banks. The Alter album has basically been on repeat for the past three years and I’m still not sick of it. Lorde too. Her album Melodrama was also the album we looked at production wise when we were in the process of making Tempest. I love her raw, up close vocals, the piano solo’s – it just feels like you’re in her living room, listening to her sing.
Q: Where are some of your favourite places to perform in London?
B: The Cardboard Café is a big one, and the APK, while it was still around. That was the first place I performed off campus so I was just super excited. But honestly, my favourite shows are house shows because it’s so intimate. Having a room full of people who are quiet and actively listening to you, is really rare and special.
To get in as an audience member on Bryn’s next house show, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about this upcoming singer-songwriter, visit her media pages,