Brynn Elliott To Headline Brighton Music Hall

Harvard philosophy concentrator Brynn Elliott will be headlining her first show this Monday, October 23rd at Brighton Music Hall. Brynn has been singing her whole life. “My grandfather says he taught me how to sing when I was three,” Elliott told me. “I don’t really remember that, but I buy the story.” She started playing guitar at age fifteen, as she started the college application process. “No one in my family had ever gone to college before,” Elliott said. “It was a very new and stressful process to me. It felt like everything I was doing was for my college resume. I started playing guitar because I wanted to feel like a human and do something that wasn’t going to be on my college resume.”


Though this will be the first show Elliott is headlining, she has had the opportunity to open for artists such as Brandi Carlile, Switchfoot, and OAR. Elliott feels that, “As a young artist, being able to open for such amazing people who have been able to pour into me has been such a blessing. I have learned so much from them.” She has learned “what makes me a performer and what makes me.” She has also learned “how I’m not Brandi Carlile and I’m not Jon Foreman.” Growing up Switchfoot was one of her favourite bands and Brandi Carlile was the first person she felt inspired by, which made opening for them all the more incredible. When Elliott was in high school and saw Carlile live for the first time something clicked. “I was like, if there was any way that I could what she was doing, that would be okay. I think that I would be okay.”  


In light of headlining her first venue, I asked Elliott what her favourite venues have been, and where she dreams of playing. “I got to play Red Rocks. I was opening for a band called OAR. I think the venue is so magical. It’s just holy ground for music goers. Then this summer I got to play House of Blues here in Boston. I got to understand how much I love Boston. It’s just a great rock club,” Elliott answered. Her dream venue was a harder pick. She settled upon the Hollywood Bowl in LA, where she saw Carlile play.


Since Elliott has both released recorded singles, such as “Might Not Like Me,” “California,” and “Psycho Stupid Crazy,” in addition to opening for numerous other artists, I wondered how live and recorded performance compare. “They’re both, for me, very different processes,” Elliott replied. “I think I’m fueled by playing live music, being able to recreate something that I’ve thought on very carefully in a studio and literally just put it into their hands to make of it whatever they want or feel. I think the community is what fuels me and keeps me going and keeps me interested in having a career in music. That moment where we’re just kind of together, unified, singing. It’s a very powerful experience. Live music is what keeps me going. To be able to do that we have to have the studio and the production. They work well together, but live music kind of wins for me.”


Elliott has bounced back and forth between the music scenes of Boston and Nashville. “I think Nashville is such a rooted music community in terms of country music,” Elliott told me. “There’s so much history of country musicians coming and making a life there. You can feel that in every area of the town. On the other hand, Boston is amazing because we have Berkeley and conservatories. Boston has an experimental vibe. Not so much in Nashville. Nashville is a music city. Boston is a musical town, but also an academic town, and a historical town where artists are inspired by a diversity of experiences. Nashville you have people who are very focused the pure laws of making music. They’re both good and have their own edges that set them apart as music towns. I feel privileged to work with both.”


Harvard itself has had a major impact on Elliott’s music. In fact, she says, “When I came here it was very much my intention to take down my experiences to make songs. I wanted to build a bank of songs, ideas.” In addition to her social experiences, her classes on philosophy have also impacted how and what she writes about. While writing about being in a relationship and “kind of realizing how my feminism was in conflict with this relationship and needing to write about that,” she considered her class on dualism and Descartes, and the feminist philosophers who did not care about what the world thought of them, self-publishing their work anyway.


To support Brynn Elliott and experience her first show live, buy tickets now at HTTP://BIT.LY/2GVUSJ0.