Take a deep breath and inhale the beautiful essence of Bryce Bowyn’s debut EP “A Rosy Retrospect.”
Based in Washington, D.C, Bryce Bowyn’s anthemic electropop tracks have captivated audiences throughout the nation’s capital and beyond. After releasing a few singles under the mononym “Bryce,” he decided that 2020 called for a refresh, rebrand and reintroduction with a name change and a collection of addictive pop bops leading up to his debut EP A Rosy Retrospect.
With songs like “Just Love Me,” a smash inspired by the beauty of queer nightlife entertainers, and “Bye Bye,” a four-on-the-floor soundtrack to farewells, Bowyn juxtaposes familiar, late 2000s pop soundscapes with self-aware, cutting lyricism.
Inspired equally by legendary pop mainstays Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, and fringe 80s synthpop (Erasure, Marc Almond, and Giorgio Moroder) Bowyn’s live presentations combine infectious, synth-driven tunes with tight choreography and dazzling theatrics. He’s performed across the nation including at Pittsburgh’s 2019 PrideFest, and headlined hometown events like BRYCE: Hydrogen Blonde (Capital Fringe).
Bryce Bowyn is an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and mental health, and has garnered high praise from outlets such as The Art of Being Queer, the Q Review, and Culture Fix, along with official playlist support from Spotify via Discover Weekly. As “God’s favorite pop child,” expect even more sonic and visual blessings from Bowyn in the coming year.
On February 11th, Bryce released his debut EP “A Rosy Retrospect,” with six songs that prove he is a household name in the underground pop scene. It includes his 2020 single “Just Love Me,” which just recently hit 50k on Spotify alone, the 2021 single “Ruthless” where Bryce brings bouncy pop vibes with catchy lyrics, and his latest single from 2021 titled “Bye Bye” where we are welcomed into the ethereal realm of Bryce’s music.
On the EP, I find myself dancing the most to “Bleu,” the second song on the track list. Here, Bryce flexes sensual vocal inflections on the verses, and insanely catchy melodies for the pre-chorus and chorus. The instrumental itself feels like a full blown party, making me absolutely crave to hear this in the club. The instrumental breakdown just before the final chorus really brings out the insanely fun character of the song, tying the track together eloquently like a beautifully wrapped bow on a gift box.
The fourth song “Undress Me” slows down the vibe comparably to the other songs, bringing the darker pop vibes to the EP. Bryce shows a wide vocal range throughout the entire track, with a lower, more intimate vocal delivery, and a higher, more upbeat delivery for the chorus. Once the chorus hits, I immediately imagine myself belting along to it in the car with the windows down. Simply a must-listen on this EP.
The final track titled “Nice Things” is such a perfect ending for the EP, with a pop rock inspired instrumental. The electric guitar melody welcomes us immediately, and Bryce’s first verse reels us in with catchy lyrics and melodies. The chorus is so catchy that I feel like it’s one of those songs you sing as loud as you can with all your friends around. I can hear this bopping at every summer pool party this year. When the bridge comes in, Bryce serves us with some high notes that will have us all shouting along with him!
Through and through, “A rosy Retrospect” feels like a breath of fresh air in the underground pop music scene. Bryce delivered a solid piece of work that not only flows effortlessly together track by track, but also proved his gift for songwriting and singing to different pop music vibes. Let’s not forget to mention the storytelling lyrically throughout the EP, making each song relatable and easy to connect with. Bryce beautifully matches every vibe with his visuals in each music video for this era so far too, bringing in more nuance and originality to this era. Check out one of the music videos below!
I had the chance to catch up and chat with Bryce Bowyn about his EP recently, check that out below!
How does it feel to finally have the EP out for the world to hear?
Amazing and exhilarating. I’ve been working on these songs for two years now. I am so happy people finally get to enjoy them with me!
How did you come up with the concept of “A Rosy Retrospect” for the title, and how does that tie in each song on the track list?
These songs are all written about an era of my life where I was partying and being reckless and irresponsible. I was also passionately in love with a boy who later broke my heart. Now, I’m four years sober, in a healthy relationship, and making my dreams come true. So I’m in a much better place. But part of me looks back at those times and romanticizes them. I thought I was having so much fun, but I was really destroying myself. So this project is all about sorting through those memories and taking off the rose-colored glasses, hence the title “A Rosy Retrospect.”
What was it like recording the music video for “Bye Bye”?
Exhausting! We shot for 14 hours straight outside in Great Falls Park in Virginia. To get to the location, we had to lug all our equipment through rough terrain. So that part was not fun, but shooting the video itself was a blast. The chainmail hood scene was the last thing we shot and it was pitch black outside. I’m a huge horror fan, but the moment we turned off the lights, you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face and I thought for sure Jason Voorhees was gonna pop out of the woods and end us.
Do you have any more visuals planned for other songs on the EP?
I don’t have a music video in mind, but I have this idea for a visual concert that’s been brewing in my head for a while now. I have to meet with my creative partners and see how we can make it happen.
What was your favorite song to write and record, and what are the vibes like in the studio with you?
Bleu. It’s about the cologne Bleu de Chanel. It’s sexy as fuck, but a certain douchey genre of person wears it…in my experience at least. I’ve wanted to center a song around that idea for a while, but could never get the vibe right. The pre-chorus came to me on a walk one day and then it just avalanched out.
Recording it was super fun. I recorded the vocals to all the songs with one engineer named Blaine Misner. He’s pretty chill, but also pretty straight. Bleu couldn’t be gayer, especially with the Mother Goose verses. Blaine kept challenging me to go campier and campier and the whole thing was just silly.
If there could only be one thing people take away from listening to “A Rosy Retrospect,” what do you want it to be?
Even though the concept for the EP is about revisiting dark times, the songs reflect the fun, party vibes that inspired that era of my life. And with that in mind, I want people to hear my music and just dance. Let go and have fun and experience the catharsis that only music can bring.
As far as live performances, when are you coming to NYC / performing again?
I’m doing a show in DC in late February and currently in talks with some Pride festivals. But I want to perform in NYC ASAP! Someone book me and I’ll be there in a millisecond.
What do you have planned next for 2022?
More live performances and way more music. This is just the beginning.
Who are some other artists you’re listening to right now on repeat?
Kit Major is my new favorite pop girl for sure. I’m in love with Orville Peck right now, like IN LOVE. And inexplicably, I can’t stop listening to Kylie Minogue’s latest album. I’m addicted.
Thank you for taking the time to answer those questions for us, Bryce!
Be sure to stream “A Rosy Retrospect” by Bryce Bowyn on all platforms now, and follow him on social media below!
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Written By: Bryce Quartz