Brady Lyons releases a genuine and playful album

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Brady Lyons
Singer-songwriter Brady Lyons (sophomore) playing guitar at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 4, 2022. Kawena Jacobs/The Occidental

When Brady Lyons (sophomore) was seven years old, she would sit down with her dad at the piano and they would sing together — she said her passion for making music stems from those times. She released her debut album Oct. 8.

Lyons said the album’s title song “Ladybug” was inspired by her grandmother, who died in February — she constantly encouraged Lyons to be genuine with her writing.

“She always said being yourself was the most important instead of trying to market yourself in a certain way,” Lyons said.

Lyons’ friend, Ella Gonchar (sophomore), said she saw Lyons’ personality in her music.

“She’s able to be vulnerable,” Gonchar said. “But you’ll hear in the new album there’s some playfulness, which I feel is very characteristic for her.”

The sound of the album is primarily guitar-based with Lyons’ vocals over it, since she said she plays guitar most often and took lessons when she was younger. Lyons said some of her musical inspirations include Lizzy McAlpine, Phoebe Bridgers and Remi Wolf.

Lyons said part of her motivation to release music comes from an experience where her aunt connected her with director James Walsh, who wanted to use her song “Drowning” in his 2022 movie Jimmy and Carolyn.” The film is a family comedy-drama that examines the LGBTQ immigrant experience.

“They played at a film festival in Burbank, so I was able to go see it in a theater,” Lyons said. “Hearing [the song] in the speakers in the movie theater was a very surreal experience.”

Gonchar also attended the festival and said she was proud to see Lyons have such a big moment, with so many people getting to hear her music.

“She’s pretty humble about it,” Gonchar said. “But I looked over at her when the song was playing in the movie theater and she had this grin on her face. It was a really cool moment.”

Walsh also helped her make a music video for “Drowning,” Lyons said. Joined by friend and fellow Occidental student and photographer Sophie Weil (sophomore), the three went to several locations to put the video together. Weil said she was mostly in charge of filming, while Walsh edited and released it under his company’s name.

“It was really nice getting his opinion and getting to work [with] him on a project,” Weil said.

Lyons said that even though the video did not have a large budget, she enjoyed being able to pick shots and locations with Weil under the direction of Walsh.

Another source of inspiration for her music, Lyons said, was moving to LA from Rhode Island, or more specifically, getting away from how small it felt. She said she embraced living in a new place with a larger, more diverse community.

“There’s not a lot of recording artists in Rhode Island,” Lyons said. “It’s definitely such a different environment here. One of my songs is actually about moving across the country, ‘Moving Away,’ which is pretty straightforward.”

According to Lyons, being in LA has also encouraged her to put herself out there more, and she is looking forward to being a part of the music scene soon.

“I definitely want to start doing gigs and getting into other publications around here,” Lyons said.

Lyons said she is interested in making music as a career, but wants to wait before fully jumping into anything. She also said that she does not plan to study music at Occidental.

“I’m not going to put all my eggs in one basket right now,” Lyons said. “I think I’m going to study psychology, because it is an interest of mine. But [music] is what I am most passionate about.”

Lyons said she would absolutely encourage anyone who is interested in writing music to try, because it has been freeing for her to share and truly be proud of her work.

Listen to her album “Ladybug” available on most major streaming platforms now, and follow Lyons on Instagram @bradyalyons to keep up with her releases.

Contact Kawena Jacobs at jacobsk@oxy.edu