Next Wave #1024: Bishop Ivy

In Association With Vero True Social

American singer-songwriter and producer Bishop Ivy burst onto the scene in 2019 with his hit single ‘15’. It showed the artist to be a deeply honest songwriter with the ability as a producer to consistently create the unexpected. Now he builds on his developed alt-pop sound with his latest single ‘Tunnel Vision’, an introspective journey that explores the deep fear of letting go in a relationship. It shows Bishop at his most adventurous to date, mixing organic instruments with digital sounds, field recordings and samples to create a unique final outcome.

There’s a consistency to Bishop’s portfolio to date, each release allows the listener into his life and inner thoughts. There's a diverse world of emotion throughout everything that he creates, showcasing levels of vulnerability and insight that makes him so easy to connect with. ‘Tunnel Vision’ builds on this natural way of songwriting, exploring a past relationship that consumed his every thought, it takes you on a journey of someone who’s scared of life after it’s inevitable demise. On his passionate lyrics, Bishop explains: “The only way I know how to write is about personal experiences that are often vulnerable to talk about. My lyrics generally come from journals, and by the time I’m writing lyrics I’ve already done the cathartic reflecting. The lyric writing becomes just a crossword puzzle of making the thing rhyme.”

The artist is passionate about completing stories through visuals, bringing the whole concept to life. This was no different on ‘Tunnel Vision’ where the artist was suspended above the ground on a crane, creating an eery atmosphere where Bishop is so encapsulated by his mind and relationship that the world is simply passing him by. Directed by Tyler Dunning Evans and taking inspiration from Radiohead and Frank Ocean, the video takes you on a unique visual journey. “I love simple music videos; they force the creators to create an image so poignant that I can last three or four minutes and still be interesting.” He states, “It makes the video easier to remember later. I think it lines up with my lyric writing too; I like to create songs that consist of just a few simple images with a singular theme. We wanted something that felt dream-like and subtly abnormal.”

His experimental take on alt-pop has developed significantly since his early songs. The key to this is his growing knowledge on the aspects of production, now honing the ability to translate emotion through sounds as well as vocals, ‘Tunnel Vision’ marks a new chapter for Bishop. A particular inspiration for the origins of all this was Frank Ocean and in particular his song ‘Ivy’ which even influenced the artist’s name. Shaping an adventurous sonic style and fearless lyricism, Bishop has taken that inspiration and ran with it. On his sound the artist explains: “An overarching goal I’ve had with my music is to find a way to consolidate all of my influences into one sound. I think my new EP, including 'tunnel vision' has arrived at some version of that. It’s simultaneously all of those things in one sound. Out of all of those different styles, I do notice that I’m partial to things that are melancholy, ethereal, and mysterious.”

Bishop Ivy has that innate ability to touch you emotionally throughout his productions. ‘Tunnel Vision’ appears melancholic whilst simultaneously soothing and it shows the artist at his best to date. Having the nerve to incorporate field recordings of a check out line in Target and a sample of a train and managing to make it work unnoticed really shows just how good a producer he can be. Still incredibly young and early in his journey, who knows just how far the artist can go, but his upcoming EP will surely give us some idea.

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Words: Jake Wright
Photo Credit: Jake Wangner

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