‘Bruises’ – the new single from Perth-based musician Sydnee Carter – is a testament to the musicality and intimate songwriting she’s perfected since embracing music at a young age.
Growing up in Perth’s Northern Suburbs, Sydnee’s grasp on performing was swift. Always wanting to be the centre of attention as a child, she would wield a black electric guitar everywhere she went, eventually learning how to play it when her parents observed her interest in music and enrolled her in guitar lessons while in primary school. At ten years old, she would watch YouTube tutorials of her favourite songs and attempt to create similar music of her own in her first experiences with songwriting, one that she cringes when looking back on. “All of the songs were about how being a tomboy, I just saw all the boys at school as friends, and how I got so frustrated when the girls started wanting all their attention,” she laughs.
Eventually, her determination and quickly evolving skillset meant that school assemblies and talent shows would change to studio sessions and award ceremonies within just a few years. Now, Sydnee Carter now being multi-West Australian Music (WAM) Award winner, with collaborations alongside Paces, SLUMBERJACK, 360 and Kuren all under her belt early on. The versatility of her own work changed too, with the folk-like backings of her introductory self-titled EP in 2015, now branching out into a cross-pollination of sounds: indie, pop, electronica, hip-hop and beyond all fused with Sydnee’s charm and expertise.
Her new single ‘Bruises’ is the first to come after her signing to TMRW Music sub-label Risque, and it feels as much of a testament to her long-winding journey thus far as it does the beginning of a new chapter, one that arms Sydnee Carter with a lot of excitement coming into 2021’s second-half. ‘Bruises’ marries her wide-ranging versatility in sound with the dynamic and personal storytelling that’s long defined her work thus far, channelling moments of pain and frustration into a cathartic, high-soaring pop single that showcases what feels like a renewed Sydnee Carter, one that’s able to take away learnings from her musical and personal life and translate them into potent bursts of music unlike anything else’s released so far.
Written alongside Perth-based Matt Riley (WasteLand) and produced by Chymes’ Cameron Taylor, ‘Bruises’ has lived many lifeforms. Initially, the single was a stripped-back piano ballad that eventually became charged by far heavier production, written by the pair to pitch to EDM artists. Then, when plans fell through, Sydnee took the single back for herself, emphasising the vocals to the forefront and finding a middle ground between the song’s initial stripped-back nature and the invigorated electronic world it was later living in.
However, what makes ‘Bruises’ so exceptional is Sydnee’s songwriting and potent lyricism, which on this single feels as striking as ever. “It’s about metaphorical bruises from your past and the healing process of recovering from that,” she says. “We’ve all had experiences with people we’re scarred from, and you feel like you have to be cautious not to do it again. You try to let them heal, but eventually, you meet someone you want to show your bruises to, and that starts the actual healing process.”
Songwriting has always been a way for Sydnee Carter to navigate the complexities of life, whether it be the boys in primary school right through to the more complicated experiences she faces today. ‘Bruises’ continues that, showing her personality just as much as it does her musicianship, as the world introduces itself to one of West Australia’s most recognised musical names.
There’s plenty more to come, too. ‘Bruises’ is the byproduct of Sydnee Carter developing her sound and identifying who she is, and releases throughout the remainder of the year will continue to showcase that.
“It’s all heading in a direction that I’ve always wanted to,” she says excitedly. After a long journey, it sounds like Sydnee Carter has finally arrived.