Emerging artist: Bishop Briggs scores first rock radio hit, opens for Coldplay

How does a performer with only three songs released to the public get picked to open for Coldplay on tour? Somehow, with critical acclaim and word of mouth, British singer Bishop Briggs pulled it off.

Though Briggs has plenty of unreleased songs that she performs in concert, so far she's only officially dropped a few singles: “Wild Horses,” “River,” and “The Way I Do.” “River” has now surged into the Top 10 on Alternative radio airplay charts, putting Briggs in position to be one of the breakout new voices of the summer.

More female voices on rock radio is always a good thing, as Elle King, Lorde, and Garbage have been among the few women to score rock hits in recent years. “River” has a bit of a Lorde quality to it, with a simple arrangement based on deliberate, sparse beats and strong vocals way up front in the mix. Her voice becomes the star of the show when the hook arrives.

Briggs belts out, “Shut your mouth, baby stand and deliver / Holy hands, they make me a sinner / Like a river, like a river / Shut your mouth and run me like a river / Choke this low till the veins start to shiver/ One last breath till the tears start to whither / Like a river, like a river / Shut your mouth and run me like a river.”  

“'River' is all about staring someone in the face and pushing them to their limits - whatever those limits may be,” Briggs tells Ones to Watch. The singer has an unusual amount of worldly experience for someone in her early 20s, having been born in England and lived in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and now Los Angeles.

“For me, Los Angeles meant opportunity and to pursue all those dreams,” she tells Fader. “The coolest part about being in L.A. is whether you like it or not, you're really thrown into the real world. I would play to audiences with three people, sometimes five or six. But it's what gives you experience and really makes you appreciate everyone.”
Briggs opens nine shows for Coldplay this fall, followed by a six-week tour with Kaleo starting in September. There's still no news regarding a full-length album from Briggs, but she has signed with Island Records, so expect a proper release at some point in the future. Until then? “You can always expect more music from me,” she promises Ones to Watch. “It’s all about the right timing. I will say that I’m really excited to release what we have so far.”