Pairing her smouldering vocals with dreamy guitar riffs and oscillating rhythms, Melbourne singer-songwriter Gena Rose Bruce serves up her debut album Can’t Make You Love Me (out June 28th), brimming with heartfelt honesty and a dash of electrifying playfulness. This month we chat to the musician about her upcoming album, her musical influences and what she gets up to in her spare time. With a voice that goes perfectly with a dessert wine and substantial amounts of smoked brie, Bruce’s debut album is bound to satisfy your ears!
When did you start writing songs? How did you get into it?
I actually found an old diary of mine from when I was around 8 years old, inside there were lyrics about the person I was crushing on at the time. I think lyrics have always been something I write but actually turning them into songs wasn’t until I was probably 16 and I had started learning guitar, which really pushed me.
What is it that inspires the lyrics in your songs?
Cant Make You Love Me is very personal, and all the lyrics represent a real emotion or story in my life, with a little exaggeration of course.
Do you have a particular writing process?
Not at all, it changes all the time. I don’t write late in the night or anything though, I find I’m most creative in the morning when I first wake up.
Who are some of the biggest influences on your music?
Mazzy Star, Cate Le Bon, Margo Guryan, The Velvet Underground, there are so many! For me I’m instantly drawn to vocals and I think all these artist have very individual voices with lots of emotion.
What were the main inspirations behind the album?
I was going through a pretty reckless and destroyable time, and one day I just knew I needed to put all this anger and sadness into a creative outlet. This album was a way for me to say what I never got to say and was then what allowed me to let go.
Do you have a favourite track from the album?
Logans Beach. The synths remind me of Donnie Darko, and the bass line is so Paul McCartney! It’s also really fun playing with the band on stage as all the parts are so intricate.
What has been the highlight of your year so far?
Selling out my single launch for Angel Face in Melbourne was amazing.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Playing this album live to as many new places and faces as I can.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing music and performing?
I have just started learning classical piano, it’s a really nice way to switch off and focus. I’m also studying world history so that takes up a lot of my brain space.
Where can people keep up with all things Gena Rose Bruce?