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Words by Kate Lockyer {Kate Lockyer Music}

Brisbane synth-pop artist Bridget O’Shannessy has reinvented her sound with the release of her latest single Sydney Street last Friday. The song is a joyful, heart-pounding, dancing-on-the-rooftop track about finding new perspective. O’Shannessy won Brisbane City Council’s QUBE Effect Development Award this year after submitting a demo of Sydney Street, so the new release comes with an impressive vote of approval.

Simple synth chords and a fuzzy, warm guitar riff build up to groovy, light-hearted percussion at the beginning of the song. O’Shannessy’s smoky vocals begin, painting the scene for a night out on the town, this time on her own terms. For Brisbane locals, you’ll find references to a plethora of city landmarks in this song, from Sydney Street in New Farm to Eagle Street in the heart of the city, and right from the first verse where she sings “You’ll find me in West End dancing ‘round in my best dress”.

The chorus is punctuated by that punchy line, “Sydney Street!”, where O’Shannessy belts out her feelings about the place that reignited her passion for music – an apartment on Sydney Street. She says, “I’d moved out of home before, but this was me, putting my foot on the ground, saying hang on, I do value myself, and I do value my music; it’s about finding that happy, content place”. The chorus continues with a mesmerising description of love and life in your twenties – “Kaleidoscope of wanderlust /Blurring lines of love and lust / Never knowing who to trust”.

The second verse brings the energy to a simmer, with syncopated, low-pitched synth and a simple percussive track backing O’Shannessy’s vocals. She sings in a low register about the person she’s leaving behind, “He never gave me space, let me grow, met me halfway”. As she sings about where she is now, the riff comes back in and the song builds up to the high energy of the chorus.

The bridge shows off those powerful vocals that we see in the chorus with a soaring melody line, where O’Shannessy’s voice is full of brightness and colour. She says her favourite lines are in the bridge: “I spent my time searching for my own home / In different boys and the same daydream / ‘Til I got some new perspective from my castle on / Sydney Street”.

After spending most of her life playing country music, O’Shannessy says that she felt freer when she began experimenting with pop, so Sydney Street embodies a newfound sense of freedom in more ways than one.

Bridget O’Shannessy has captured the beating heart of Brisbane’s nightlife and the swirl of emotions that comes with both romance and self-discovery, so I’m excited for what comes next from her.

Stream Sydney Street HERE!

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