The Mrs Bishop bio simply reads, Born in Sweden. Raised in London. Sang for the Queen on Sundays. After listening to their debut self-titled EP, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is all you really need to know; the music speaks for itself. Despite the moniker, Mrs. Bishop have nothing to do with married Bishop women, and more to do with the ethereal sounds emanating from blood-bonded duo, Oscar and Hugo Bishop. Unluckily for Queen Lizzy, the boys are now charming the socks off our island home (yes, that is a Christine Anu reference…don’t hate, appreciate).
Emerging on the scene last year with spine-tingling singles Broken Wing and Where the River Flows, their equally spellbinding cover of Hate to Say I Told You So from fellow Swede alum, The Hives, placed the Bishop brothers high on my list of bands to follow. Their debut EP further cements their position. The five-tracker is filled to the brim with aural loveliness.
Setting the tone with their signature Nordic vibes, the EP kicks off with first single, Broken Wing. It becomes evident rather quickly that the boys are classically trained. Their celestial notes are otherworldly, creating a dream-like landscape where floating away on a cloud seems like an achievable reality. Second track, You Crying paints a somewhat darker picture – well as dark as a Mrs. Bishop song can go, which is a very light shade of grey. Carried by sharp percussions and temperamental lyrics, the song ultimately relays, “You’re nothing without me!”. By the time the second verse comes around, all moodiness has evaporated with the lighthearted addition of a piano.
The real magic happens with third track, Way Down the Wishing Well. Hands down the best song from the EP, the hollow tribal flutes and African vibes remind me of a Paul Simon tune sung by angels. It’s heavenly. After hitting such a high, taking things down a notch, next number, Jones, is a lovely acoustic song that poses the age-old question, “are you the answer I’ve been waiting for? Or are you just another poser like the rest?”. It’s safe to say that Mrs Bishop are definitely NOT on the poser side of the equation. Ending on a high note, the EP concludes with the familiar tinkle of Where The River Flows. Long after the last chime has played, I am left with a wonderful warmth that only occurs after you have been extremely satisfied.
To keep the feeling going, I was lucky enough to attend Mrs. Bishop’s Family and Friends EP Launch last night at Somedays Gallery in Surry Hills. I have to say the boys managed to translate their angelic tunes beautifully. They treated the audience to a selection of tracks from their EP, including my personal highlight Way Down The Wishing Well as well as some new songs and their dazzling Hives cover, I Hate To Say I Told You So. If I’m going to be picky and I mean really picky, the sound was slightly unbalanced, made worse by the chattering crowd…
Start of rant: It is my personal belief that hipsters who rock up to gigs with their offending outfits and then rudely talk so loudly that it overrides the actual music should be shot. Take your free drinks and go be seen somewhere else! End of rant.
Back to the music. I’m no sound expert, but I imagine when you are singing in such a high register, it would be difficult to achieve enough volume to overpower the naturally booming percussions. Despite this very minor issue, the Bishop boys brought the goods. I think with a little more time these brothers will be an ethereal force to be reckoned with.