Brenna Miles, who describes herself as a dark energizer bunny confused with its place in the world (same tbh), is an LA-based dark-pop artist who has hypnotised me since the day I came across Nine Miles and her latest, Shaking Hands. The latter, about an unplanned murder, is striking in that its immersing vocals and accompanying backing track are addictive in their own right.
But it was her début single, Nine Matches, that really introduced us to Brenna and Brenna to herself. The song helped her transfer from impuissant into someone who accepted herself, accepted who she was and liberated what she felt into her songwriting, with the aid of production duo Noise Club and fellow songwriter Eric Nizgretsky.
Nine Matches is enchanting, enthralling and completely captures the essence of melancholy and yearning, while finding beauty in the sadness and pain that all of us carry inside. The video is no different: like jigsaw pieces the nine scenes match together to narrate what her words alone may not have amplified. Plus, she kisses a goat and the turquoise view from V should be iconic in its own right. Watch it, rewatch, be addicted for life, whatever.
Brenna was kind enough to open up to me about the vulnerability; the discomfort and the goat farms one needs to truly feel confident and comfortable with themselves (the goat farm may or may not be mandatory).
Firstly, why is it called ‘Nine Matches’?
I really love the idea that cats have nine lives and I feel like I personally have burned a few of mine away. The metaphor, “Nine Matches”, lent itself so easily to this concept.
What was the artistic direction of Nine Matches’ vid?
It all stemmed from the idea of being uncomfortable. Every little scene we had initially started with that concept. We wanted to make a video with these little time capsules.
How did the video end up coming together?
It was a pretty organic process. My partner in this project, Eric Nizgretsky, had done some work with J.D. Aronson, the director, before and knew that he would be able to bring the concept we had to life. We had a few phone calls and all had a pretty similar vibe and vision for the video. Next thing you know we are in the middle of the Everglades trying to find a goat farm!
How do you write your music?
It always stems from a creative idea that either Eric or myself will have. It could be a melody, a visual, a vibe or a chord progression. It honestly could be anything. Once we pinpoint how to conquer that vision, the song just takes on a life of its own.
What was running through your mind as you wrote Nine Matches?
Nine Matches was a delicate song for me to write just because, at first, I wasn’t fully ready to reveal so much about myself. Eric and I would meet everyday for a few weeks and he slowly pulled this song out of me. He allowed me to realize the beauty in vulnerability, and once I was able to figure that out, I realized that to make this song powerful I would need to let my guard down.
When did you realise you wanted to sing?
I was singing before I was talking so I would say at a pretty young age I knew I wanted to sing. About 75% of my family’s home videos are me singing about nonsense.
What are you going to be up to next?
Well, I’ve just gotten back from New York, where Eric Nizgretsky, Noise Club and I were recording new music! I’m just trying to push myself as an artist and I have such a great team around me that motivates me to be different. For the new batch of songs we worked on, we’re doing a total 180, and focusing more on melodies and complexity. I hope it will be a pretty cool juxtaposition.
I’ll guarantee that you will be seeing some new songs of mine real soon.
Sounds super exciting! What are your hopes for the future?
To pretty much keep on doing what I’m doing. I love making music and I hope that I am able to reach more and more people with my art.
What advice would you give other aspiring musicians?
The only advice I would give is to have fun. It’s a cliché but this concept of “making it” is really hard; you should take a second and enjoy what you’re doing.
image via guestlist