Ōtautahi-born singer-songwriter Bridges, aka Rachel Hamilton, has been actively involved in music since picking up a guitar at the age of 13.
Making the move to Tāmaki Makaurau to study music at Auckland University Hamilton was a top five finalist for Auckland’s Songwriter Of The Year in 2015, and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music.
She has since receiving two rounds of single funding from NZ On Air, both songs appearing on her ‘Twenty Something’ EP. Bridges releasedPills, the first of these in 2022. While a deeply personal song about mental health, Pills is an uplifting and empowering pop track.
The EP’s second song is titled Misfits. With much more of a pop-rock feel, there is instant vocal recognition demonstrating Hamilton’s flexible range. With clever lyrics about not fitting in and finding your place in the world, Misfits is punchy and relatable.
Okay, Alright is a completely different tempo and pace to the rest of her recorded work. Carrying the same deep vulnerability in the lyrics and content, a reflective and nostalgic theme is brought to life with eerie synths and swinging and melodic piano and percussion.
Bridges’ latest single, the darker Gone, was produced by Rāwiri Waters who also played and recorded every instrument on the song, mixed by Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s James Goldsmith, and mastered by Grammy-winning, LA-based Brian Lucey.
Delving into the complexities of going through a break up Hamilton’s rich vocal tone is laced through emotive guitar and a shadowy pop melody. The song’s opening verse and lyrics exude a soft and sultry quality that steadily builds to an anthemic chorus – symbolic of the liberating sensation of moving on and mirroring the grieving journey of a breakup.
Bridges is a phenomenal songwriting talent with incredible vocals, and the EP is a fitting showcase, supported by world-class engineering and production.