Premiere: Riley Pearce fights for authenticity with new single, Breathe & Release
The single - Riley Pearce's second for the year - sees the Perth-raised musician reflect on his career, and the sound that's brought him where he is today.
It's difficult to find a Perth-raised musician that has spread their wings as far as Riley Pearce. His rise is something we've talked about before - most recently with his May-released previous single, Ceramic Real Estate - but it's something worth emphasising, as the now-Melbourne-based musician has blossomed into a favourite in international waters, particularly over in the UK and Europe. It's a result of his charming, wind-swept sound and the beauty that often lays within it; his brand of folk-meets-indie-meets-pop often being some of Australia's most intoxicating and enchanting sounds.
However, his international rise has come with its own problems. As every touring musician would tell you, there's a unique set of trials and tribulations that come with touring and growing an audience overseas - homesickness, starting fresh with little-to-no major audience, sleepless nights on touring buses - and for Riley Pearce, we're guessing it's no different, especially because it's something he considers and talks about with his new single and second for 2020, Breathe & Release.
At a surface level, Breathe & Release captures the beauty and charm of Riley Pearce at his peak. It's softly-strung and subtle yet powerful with emotion and passion; his voice lingering beyond the strumming instrumental underneath that once again, sees him master this world of indie-folk at its perhaps most potent form. This time around, however, there's a heavier emphasis on the way his vocal moves, with its light energy and animation feeling like it's charading something else, as he sings "All of my fears surrounding by feeling, it's hard to get a grip on myself."
As Riley explains, the track came after his stint of touring overseas, but reflects on a different side of international expansion than things like homesickness or travel buses. "As I grow older there’s this weird sense of needing to stay relevant in music that really shouldn’t infiltrate your creative process but it’s always there like a little voice in your head," he says. "I noticed those pressures more in Australia than I did in other regions when I played shows overseas. For some reason it didn’t happen much over there. It’s great to have the drive to continually improve your sound but when it’s forcing you into a direction you’re not comfortable with that isn’t true to yourself, it’s not authentic and it’s not right.
"Breathe and Release is my thoughts on this matter. It’s not that I’ve been crafting my songs prior to this in any one direction to suit a sound but it’s more about the freedom of really letting go and not giving a shit and creating what you love because you love it."
It's really something beautiful, and comes with an official video below, directed by Kristie McCarthy and featuring Riley himself. You can take a dive into it below as it premieres on Pilerats ahead of its official release tomorrow, June 26th.