“Pool”, the second single by art-pop quintet Bridal Party from their forthcoming LP Cool Down outlines the joy and challenge of coming out of your shell after periods of isolation. The lyrics of “Pool” were penned by guitarist Joseph Leroux in a demo in early 2019, their mantra-like simplicity inspired by the Porches album of the same name. “I wanted the lyrics to feel potent and understated. They were written with building myself up in mind, in a time when I was looking for a lot of validation from other people. I wanted to remind myself with a song, of the value of choosing yourself and choosing periods of quiet, before coming back into your communities.”
Drummer Adrain Heim listened to the demo, and understood that the emphasis in the music was in the wrong place: “I felt like in Joe’s demo the verse was actually the chorus and the chorus was the verse” says Heim. With this reversal in mind, Heim’s triplet shuffle enacted a more fluid and collaborative songwriting process that would come to define Cool Down.
The band worked with the song in a rehearsal setting before bringing it to the studio and producer Connor Head. Head helped imagine additional sonic textures that unfolded the band’s nascent studio pop sound. Vocalist Suzannah Raudaschl took Leroux’ initial vocal melody and added nuance and layers of harmony. The final track lives somewhere between Men I Trust’s “Lauren” and Khruangbin’s “People Everywhere (Still Alive)”, while existing as something exquisitely unique and joyful.
The accompanying music video, directed by Leta C-W and Koty Bannouvong focuses on a fantasy dinner party, a best-case scenario of friendship and connection that answers Leroux’ pensive lyrics. “Knocking on your door only takes me a minute / but how can I get out when I’m so deep within it?” sing Raudaschl and Leroux in tandem over the bridge, while glasses clink and neon cocktails are enjoyed in a tall-ceilinged hall, dimly lit and frescoed.
BridalParty spans pop music’s omnivorous genre expanse with groovy precision, landing their hooks in just the right places to keep ears perked and crowds bobbing to their nostalgic yet contemporary sound.
Forming in 2015 amidst Victoria, British Columbia’s vibrant DIY scene of experimental club nights and vibrant house shows, Bridal Party began as a sharing of songs between vocalist Suzannah Raudaschl and guitarist Joseph Leroux. That effort culminated in the beachy, effusive Hot Daze EP, ripe with lighthearted bossa nova and indie rock references, while alluding to the end-of-the-world deliriousness that the fire season was imposing on the west coast. The project quickly expanded and now includes Adrian Heim on drums, Lee Gauthier on bass, and Jordan Clairmont on keyboards.
In 2017, Bridal Party linked up with producer Connor Head to record Negative Space, including the band’s first breakout track, the cheekily melancholy “Fruitless”. Built from a guitar progression Leroux initially heard as a throw-away, “Fruitless” showcases Raudaschl’s vocal range and narrative wit, placing her stylistically somewhere between Joni Mitchel and Debbie Harry, distinct in her unpredictable yearning and melodic patterning. It also signalled the band’s stylistic shift towards 80’s and 90’s pop references, and a move towards a less guitar driven, more synthetic sound. In the wake of Negative Space,Beatroute Magazine called Bridal Party, “a perfect marriage of indie pop and soul.”
Over the next two years Bridal Party embraced DIY touring, sending themselves across Canada and down the west coast of the US multiple times, developing a reputation as a tight and experienced live act. The band began recording their debut LP Too Much in 2018, right after returning from their first tour. Informed by their experience on the road and painstakingly produced and mixed by bassist Lee Gauthier, Too Much came out on legendary Vancouver indie label Kingfisher Bluez, and is a record of the group’s growing pains both personally and stylistically. The album took Bridal Party to the #2 slot on the !earshot top 50 chart for two weeks and kept them in the top 50 for two months.
Now, Bridal Party is ready to drop a new record into what feels like a changed world. Their upcoming work speaks of interstitial moments, the pivot-points from which real change may emanate, and the deja vu that comes from realizing who one has always been. It is their most stylistically cognizant and emotionally resonant music to date.