Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Today’s feature is focused on the Pittsburgh-based, alt-pop artist, Bishop Ivy who recently released his latest EP ‘LIMBO’ for the summer. His music is best described as the sounds you’d hear today on the Fresh Finds: Pop playlist of Spotify. It’s got experimental elements, using airy echoes of his voice layered on heavy drum beats and silky melodies. Ivy’s music is somewhat similar to those of inventive artists such as X Lovers, Alexander 23, Julian LaMadrid, joan, and Lostboycrow. However, what really makes his music distinguishable against the others is his youth. You can hear it in his sound and in his lyrics. He’s got a handle on the direction he is taking his music and the control of his voice, and in this EP we can see the range of his artistry from r&b to pop to punk/emo and genres in between, the artist plays with tunes and tones like play-doh bending them into different shapes and noises that fit well for this project in particular. There are catchy hooks and lush productions that pattern his tracks throughout. It will be very interesting to see the growth of this artist as he continues to build and grow and experience more.
For ‘LIMBO’, each track stands on its own. "Clockwork" incorporates a car blinker accompanying the acoustic guitars, synths, and a sampled YouTube clip. “Bleeding Too” a personal favorite is balladic, nostalgic, and fluid. In “Spring” is very atmospheric, magical, and indie-film-like in it’s light-heartedness. “Drag Racing” is heavier and more ominous with its hip-hop styled rhythm and “Ivy Dreams” is the introduction to the project that touches on each style of music he executes in the other 3 records. “All of the songs are written about my senior year of high school with topics ranging from academia, love life, to highway driving,” says the singer, songwriter, and producer.
Here is our interview:
Channel Sounds [CS]: What spurred the inspiration behind LIMBO and what does it mean to you?
Bishop Ivy [BI]: “LIMBO is a collection of moments from my senior year of high school. The name refers to how I had no idea where I would be and what I would be doing in 6 months. Waiting to hear back from colleges certainly felt like a state of limbo. I end up writing about school, love life, driving, and dread. Musically, I was channeling Frank Ocean, Lorde, Phoebe Bridgers, and James Blake. The EP overall serves as a time capsule for where I was at 18, musically and mentally.”
[CS]: In your opinion, what was the benefit of being so young writing music and how was it also a challenge?
[BI]: “I'm certainly going through a lot of changes in life right now, and I'm having a lot of new experiences. That brings in life to my writing. I've found that as fulfilling as it sounds, I can't truly be solely a musician, or there's nothing to write about. Everything else that's going on in my life fuels the narrative, and I feel I have a lot going on at 19. The only challenge is perhaps the lack of skill or perspective that comes from not having as much experience. I tend to cringe at whatever I was doing a year previously, and I know I'll do that to my current self, but it means I'm growing.”
[CS]: How has music fueled your ability to channel your self-expression?
[BI]: “Being a songwriter forces me to process my feelings deeply enough that I can accurately articulate them with a song. It almost happens reluctantly; it's not that I'm desperate to express myself and thankfully music let's me do that-rather, I want to create something meaningful, so I'm forced to pick apart my experiences, whether I was doing that already or not. It reminds me to journal more often, for example. The task of creating a song or EP essentially coerces me to look after myself.”
[CS]: How have you managed to continue to stay creative during the current state of the world?
[BI]: “It's hard; if I pay too much attention to current events I become too tense to be able to write like I usually do. The isolation is actually really helpful, so I try to dive deeper into that. I'll turn off socials for the evening, go ride my bike on my own, try to shut out what's going on momentarily to get into the right headspace. I have a lot more time to reflect and create than I usually do, so in some ways that's helpful.” ————
Thanks so much, Bishop for chatting! We look forward to keep hearing you channel your sound!