NEWS : FRI, FEB 24, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Bria Shares Official Lyric Video For Her Sultry Reinterpretation of Mary Margaret O’Hara’s “When You Know Why You’re Happy”
Today, Friday, February 24th marks the release of Bria’s follow up EP Cuntry Covers Vol. 2 on LP/CD/DSPs. Building on the tried-and-true/bold-and-new duality of Cuntry Covers’ first offering, Vol. 2 delivers a deeper dive into the duo’s brilliant alchemy of traditional and contemporary reinterpretations. Bria has shared an official lyric video for her sultry reinterpretation of Mary Margaret O’Hara’s song “When You Know Why You’re Happy” which you can watch HERE.
“Mary Margaret O’Hara is a creative force and one of my favorite Canadian artists” shares Bria. She adds “I have been a huge fan of hers for quite some time and really wanted to try my hand at one of her songs for Vol. 2. She is a real queen of vocal improvisation. It’s a trait of hers that I’ve always admired, so I really wanted to explore that when recording this cover. The video for this track is special to us, a sort of collage of memory; fragmented footage of summer taken over the last two years is dispersed throughout shots of a vast winter scene, filmed while we finished the record up North with our live band.”
Bria has confirmed a new show on February 28th at No Somos Nada in Mexico City, Mexico with additional shows on March 9th at Zebulon in Los Angeles, CA and March 18th at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ON. These live shows will showcase songs from Cuntry Covers Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Additional dates to be announced soon.
Tue. Feb 28 - Mexico City, MX - No Somos Nada
Thu. Mar. 09 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon
Sat. Mar. 18 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
What people are saying about Bria:
“Cuntry Covers Vol. 2 “skirts the edges of the genre [country music] and ultimately leaves the listener with a very satisfying subversion of the classics the duo have chosen to interpret.” - Northern Transmissions
“Here’s a haunting, dystopian version version of Where Have All The Cowboys Gone? by Bria - it’s always an honor to hear the songs live on” - Paula Cole
“it’s an other-worldly take on the Karen Dalton standard…” [“Green Rocky Road”] - Clash
“Where Dalton’s original is quite lo-fi and scratchy, Bria have added some fidelity and warmth to it through golden-strummed guitars and a lackadaisical but precise beat.” [“Green Rocky Road”] - Beats Per Minute
“It’s the third track that’s truly mind-blowing, however. An ode to the late, great trailblazer, Loretta Lynn, Bria turns the classic ‘Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin (With Lovin’ On Your Mind) into a vibrant pop song that ABBA or The Primitives would be proud of.” - The Rodeo
“Salmena’s raspy tinged voice provides a depth of longing and fractured tenderness on her cover of Karen Dalton’s track, “Green Rocky Road.’” [“Green Rocky Road”] - Ears to Feed
“The band’s version will win over any Jennings fans, or fans of old country.” [“Dreaming My Dreams Of You”] - Northern Transmissions
“Cuntry Covers Vol. 1 seamlessly drifts between classic country references and a new perspective of reimagining what country could sound like” - Tonitruale
As its name suggested, the intimate and sultry Cuntry Covers Vol. 1 was always going to have a follow-up. Led by the brooding vocals of Bria Salmena, Cuntry Covers Vol. 2 is every bit as potent as its predecessor whose noir-inflected alternative country-rock stood in sharp contrast to the singer’s commanding delivery as leader of post-punk revivalists FRIGS. Debuting the project in 2021, the languid, reverb-drenched Cuntry Covers Vol. 1 saw her artfully collaborating with multi-instrumentalist Duncan Hay Jennings and reimagining a carefully picked collection of Americana anthems.
Vol. 2 pushes the envelope further and harder. Encompassing feverish takes on tracks by Gillian Welch, Paula Cole, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Robert Lester Folsom, Glenn Campbell – by way of Nick Cave – and the late, great Loretta Lynn, Bria’s deliciously dark approach shimmers through these six startling songs.
Created during a break from Salmena and Jennings’ work in Orville Peck’s world-conquering backing band, Vol. 2 was recorded directly after Peck’s second album and Bria’s US tour supporting Wolf Alice. Embracing contrast, the sunny circumstances in which Vol. 1 was made were flipped on their head. Instead of a bucolic barn in the Canadian countryside, they recorded the new tracks in chilly Toronto, huddled together in their tiny makeshift home studio, with Jennings at the controls. “There’s a lot of chaotic energy to it, because it’s us cramped in a space where we’re all also working and living during the dead of winter,” explains Salmena, who also enlisted the help of local Toronto musicians Lucas Savatti (FRIGS), Simone Baril (US Girls, The Highest Order, Darlene Shrugg, Partner), Andrew Manktelow, and frequent collaborator Jaime Rae McCuaig.
While Vol. 1 was Bria’s attempt at subverting country music’s conservative roots and primarily white and heterosexual agenda, here the emphasis was on experimentation. The duo purposely split the two sides of the EP, with the A-side acting as more of an homage to the tracks covered, and the B-sides interpretations taking on a more traditional route with the source material. “We wanted to mess with things,” she says. And while Vol. 2 might be less personal, it’s just as idiosyncratic, with half of the reversions staying truthful to the originals and others taken to a different universe entirely. Building on the tried-and-true/bold-and-new duality of Cuntry Covers’ first oering, Vol. 2 delivers a deeper dive into the duo’s brilliant alchemy of traditional and
contemporary reinterpretations. The added experimental flourishes, from dizzying electronica and pulsing bass to sax-driven soul, take Bria’s new EP into previously uncharted territory, signaling a thrilling new step in Bria’s adventurous evolution.
Cuntry Covers Vol. 2
1. Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?
2. When You Know Why You’re Happy
3. Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)
4. By The Time I Get to Phoenix
5. I Dream A Highway
6. See You Later, I’m Gone