Listen to Bruce’s playlist of delicately emotive tracks
Welcome back to Selections, a series of artist-curated playlists from those in the know.
Over the past year or so, Bruce has ushered in a distinct new pop-leaning era within his work. One that centres vulnerability and tenderness and also sees his voice take prominence for the first time.
A name you might be more familiar with as a DJ and producer with releases on dance music imprints such as Hessle Audio, Timedance and Hemlock, last autumn Bruce made a striking debut of his new vocal-led pop project at Batu’s En Masse in Bristol. Since then Bruce – aka the moniker of Larry McCarthy – has continued to flourish into this metamorphosis. And his new EP Not acts as a landmark within the artist’s body of work, on which he crafts tracks that abound in sensuous, heartfelt openness and romanticism, pairing lusicious, slinking electronic and pop productions with his dulcet, crooning vocals.
With this new sonic direction allowing for Bruce to fully embrace his love for emotive music, here the Bristol-based musician, DJ and producer curates a playlist of tracks that inspired his new vocal-pop era. “I have always held a special place in my heart for deeply emotive music,” McCarthy tells us, “however I feel it’s often very tricky to get the balance of sincerity and restraint right, so that the emotion is convincing. It has to be relatable and deeply moving without feeling mawkish.”
“Within dance music, the confines of this balance is restricted by its necessary functional requirements,” he continues. “Of course vocals are extremely effective, but it’s really special when the arrangement goes without and relies on lush instrumentation and tense and delicate arrangement to drive the feels home.”
Explaining his new creative direction further, McCarthy continues: “A big part of this new project has been embracing the opportunity to explore a much wider berth of emotive possibility within my production, to back up the stories I’m trying to tell with the lyrics. Here is a hearty selection of tracks that have greatly moved me over the years; they really pull on those heart strings, but have the delicate restraint that gives you space to feel.”
The playlist also traces the Bristol-based musician, DJ and producer’s journey from earlier cuts such as his 2016 The Trouble With Wilderness EP to this current work. “I’ve snuck in a few of my own deeper cuts, so you can see how my relationship with this type of music has influenced my own production,” McCarthy adds, “and to give you an idea of how I’ve got here with my new project.”
Not is out now via Timedance.