#MusicPH - Bradley Simpson shares new single “Picasso”

Bradley Simpson’s debut solo single ‘Cry At The Moon’ occupied a rarely explored sweet spot between styles: classic ‘70s Americana with a surging intensity which echoes the swaggering spirit of the indie-rock greats, but also with the contemporary, pop-tinged edge that can only come from an artist who has headlined London’s 20,000 capacity O2 arena on multiple occasions. From that compelling introduction, Bradley now powers into the release of his new single ‘Picasso’.

Produced by the two-time Grammy nominee BOOTS (Beyoncé), with a dreamy undercurrent of ‘60s psychedelia and wonky bedroom pop, ‘Picasso’ is symbolic of what Bradley does so well: creating songs with an instant appeal, yet with lyrical nuances that provide a relatability for people to forge a deeper connection with. Its striking lyric “turning torture into art” commands attention and inspires deeper investigation of the narrative behind it. 

Bradley says, “‘Picasso’ is about one of those toxic loves that you know is bad for you, but there’s something amazing about it that keeps you coming back. You always hope that things are going to turn out for the best, so you keep giving chances when maybe in hindsight you should’ve stopped early doors. You also come across people who can find dress-up those hardships as part of romance. That song allowed me to exorcise those experiences and move past them.”

‘Picasso’ and ‘Cry At The Moon’ set a high watermark for more to come from Bradley. Many of his upcoming songs were written in the comfortable confines of his home studio: a converted loft space accessible only by a rickety ladder. Recording sessions were similarly modest, with the grimy, graffiti-clad exterior of New York’s Flux Studios opening to reveal a space steeped in history, its collection of vintage gear and stale cigarette haze the place where The Strokes recorded their classic debut ‘Is This It’. 

But while the locations were unassuming, his key collaborators were top tier. In addition to super producer BOOTS, Bradley spent much of the process writing with kindred spirits in the shape of Andrew Wells (YUNGBLUD, Halsey) and Anthony Rossomando (Liam Gallagher, and a founder member of Dirty Pretty Things with Carl Barât). They shared his admiration for Queens of the Stone Age, The Raconteurs, Them Crooked Vultures and The Black Keys which helped to unlock the creative process, while Bradley’s lyrics became intimate, diaristic snapshots of intensely personal experiences rich with precise details that can only be written after they’ve been lived through.

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