Springfield, MO- Folk, indie, and pop elements infused with honest storytelling and heart piercing lyrics are what sets Brian Bulger apart. He strives to tell his own story by placing the listener at the moment with him; infusing emotions in his vocals and crafting worlds in his melodies. His single “Bad in a Good Way” (out 9/3) is the first introduction to the world of his upcoming album in which he tackles his deeply instilled religious trauma and grows into a new person.
Getting to know Brian
Introduce yourself- who are you? what are you about?
Hello! My name is Brian Bulger, and I would consider myself a songwriter above all else. The TLDR version of my story is this: raised in a dysfunctional family in the Bible Belt, going to charismatic evangelical churches. I wrote songs my entire life but my most honest work came after moving out of my parent’s house at 18, I left the bubble and began to process my upbringing through songwriting.
Who or what inspired you to make music?
Truly, it was and is my purest form of self-expression. I am often writing about things I don’t know I’m feeling, the songs are the product of my subconscious, and they teach my conscious self how to process. My mother would sit me down next to her at the computer and she would show me all of her favorite bands on YouTube. I was raised on the music of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. I was always especially impressed by the artists who wrote cryptic lyrics and told taboo or uncomfortable stories through their songs. So, I would say that my mother’s passion for music and my need for an outlet are what inspired me.
If you could open a show for any one artist, who would it be?
I gotta pick Gregory Alan Isakov. For two reasons, 1) I love his music and his live shows are captivating, and 2) his fans are some of the most attentive listeners I’ve ever experienced.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Someone once told me that succeeding in the music industry takes one thing: luck. This is a relieving idea for me, it allows me to be my authentic self, make the music I want to make, and not worry about whether or not someone out there is going to like it. That part is out of my hands and I’m glad for it.
What sets your music apart? what is unique, or at least uncommon?
Probably my way of expressing the traumatic moments in my life in a way that is digestible and approachable for the listener. I don’t usually write vague music.
What are your top two favorite albums of all time? why?
Leif Vollebekk – Twin Solitude. This encapsulates Leif’s ability to craft songs with basic melodies and chord progressions and make you totally sucked in and present.
Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were. It’s amazing. A no skip journey of sad boi electric guitar wonder.
“Bad in a Good Way is about my departure from evangelicalism and specifically the religious trauma that brought me to ‘the deep end’. It’s a song of freedom, joy, and self love, breaking free of exclusivity and being my best self. It also marks a transition of my sound from folk to alternative/pop/singer-songwriter. It’s a breath of fresh air, in more ways than one”.