Singer-songwriter Caitlin (Caitlin Bradley) is currently balancing studying at Christchurch’s Ara Music Arts alongside recording a new EP for release in August. High energy indie pop-rock track Hardly starts off her 2022 release schedule as the first single, with two more to follow before the EP. As she explained to NZM, it’s a lyrically frank song of emotional confusion, a new direction for her.
Hardly was written when I kept feeling frustrated with myself because the person I wanted to hang out with always seemed to be busy – I kept taking it personally even though I knew it was purely circumstantial. It’s a song based on emotions of jealousy, frustration, and confusion, but delivered in a way that will have you shouting the lyrics in your car!
I took this song to Ryan Fisherman because of recommendations from many in the NZ music scene, and his experience across a range of genres. I was so impressed by how he took my references and vague descriptions of what I wanted the production to sound like, and absolutely nailed it.
When I took this song to Ryan, I brought Julia Jacklin’s Pressure To Party as a reference, as it shared a lot of the pent-up emotion that I wanted to get across. I loved the driving electric guitar and rawness of the production. Julia is a big inspiration of mine and has worked with Ryan in the past, so I knew that he would catch the vibe I was going for.
Hardly is a song of feeling the frustration of the circumstances you’re in, unable to change them, and unwilling to accept them so I loved the idea of compressed vocals to communicate this angst and pent-up emotion. One of my favourite lines in it is, ‘Wish I could see you when the sun is up’. The line derived from this feeling of “…am I only worth enough to this person to be seen in the quiet hours of the night?” I love that this song is a bit brutal and very honest. Normally I’ve written songs with vague ideas, open to interpretation, but it’s been so much fun writing frank lyrics!
Thomas Isbister added some sick lines on electric guitar to Hardly which strengthened the angsty vibe. My favourite part is the final chorus where the drums and guitar really amp up, and I’m shouting the lyrics in the background.
I’m so excited for people to hear Hardly as it’s been a year since I wrote the song back in May 2021. The song is very different to my previous single which was a step into the world of pop. I like to think with this single, I am stepping into my own sound within the indie-pop/rock genre. It’s the first of a few exciting releases coming up this year, and I can’t wait to share the care that has gone into all these songs.