Whilst you may recognise Bria Salmena from working in Orville Peck’s world-conquering backing band, she is also an immensely innovative artist in her own right. Following the release of Cuntry Covers Vol.1 in 2021, Salmena has now collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Duncan Hay Jennings once again for Vol.2., set for release next month.
As a taster of the upcoming EP’s release, Bria has now shared her rendition of Paula Cole’s ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?‘. Adding her own unique reverb-strewn scuzz and whirring danceable energy to the original, her rich, sumptuous vocals ripple alongside a soul-strewn groove, creating a dreamily immersive soundscape.
We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Cuntry Covers Vol.2, we caught up with Bria to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. Rather than pick five all-time top albums, she’s selected the songs she’s listening to the most right now – read/listen below and check out Cuntry Covers Vol.1 while you await the release of Vol.2!
It’s impossible for me to pick my favourite songs or albums, I’m just not one of those people. For me, it’s constantly in flux. So I’ve decided instead to share my top five songs of January 2023. And to be clear, these are not songs released in Jan 2023 but rather what’s been on repeat in my house, car, headphones etc. This list is extremely manic, I hope you enjoy it.
Nourished By Time – ‘Romance In Me’
Nourished By Time is a new discovery – initially introduced through an NTS playlist. There’s a very obvious nostalgic quality to the track, but I really just think the vocal progression is something entirely unique. I love the production – there’s a really satisfying balance of tension between the keys and guitar, especially in the choruses. This song really builds extremely well, I feel as though I kind of get swept away in it. It’s the kind of song I find myself harmonising with vocally, however annoying that may seem. When I’m in the mood to feel heartbroken I’ll probably put this song on.
Kate Bush – ‘Pull Out The Pin’
I’m a long-time Kate Bush fan, and this song came back into my rotation this month. The intensity of this track lyrically and musically is so satisfying for me. I love Bush’s ability to tell a story, it feels like theatre. This song was written after she had seen a documentary about the Vietnam war, wherein they show Vietnamese soldiers putting little silver buddhas in their mouths as they approached the front line. I love hearing this side of Bush’s vocal range – her ability to sing-scream is so beautiful, it’s been somewhat cathartic to listen this month. I also feel as though this is an overlooked B-side of hers, so I’m urging you now to give it a listen.
Deftones- ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’
So technically, I started having this song on repeat in December, but there are no rules here. On Christmas day, I went to a very famous bikini bar here in Los Angeles called Jumbo’s, and one of the dancers did a very impressive pole dance to this song. I hadn’t heard it in so long and after that, I played it throughout my somewhat lonely holiday season. I think it might be the hottest song ever written – not sexiest, but hottest. The whole record is amazing, I don’t even know if I can say any more about it.
Golpe – ‘Non Piergarti’
Golpe is an Italian punk band whose first full-length record came out in 2021. Lots of Italian friends had told me to check them out and I finally did sometime last fall. ‘Non Piegarti’ might be one of my favourites of theirs – with ‘La Colpa E Solo Tua’ as a close second. I’ve spent most of January moving into a new apartment and sorting out my life here in Los Angeles, and the song title translates to “Don’t Bend Over” which has been a bit of a mantra of mine throughout a stressful month. I’m a big fan of the production of this song, and I love the vocal effect on this song and how well the guitars sit alongside. It’s heavy, but very well-balanced.
Florist – ‘Red Bird Part 2 (Morning)’
This song is extremely beautiful and EXTREMELY sad. You’ve been warned. When I’m searching for a sort of sad calm feeling, I will put this on. It’s a beautifully tragic song about the death of the singer’s mother. I’m drawn to the simplicity of the instrumentation, rooted in acoustic guitar and accompanied by a kind of dreamy ethereal electric guitar. I also am a big fan of the double unison vocals on this track – I myself love doing that, as I feel you can really round out the sound that way.
Massive thanks to Bria for sharing her five ‘favourites’ with us! Listen to new single ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?’ now:
Cuntry Covers Vol.2, the upcoming EP from Bria, is set for release on 24th February via Sub Pop.
Photo Credit: Justin Aranha