For Eaglemont, homosexuality was once a challenge, now it’s a driving force

For Eaglemont, homosexuality was once a challenge, now it’s a driving force

Words by Augustus Welby

We chat to an indie-rocker on the rise.

Turning heads this week is Bridgitte Jessop’s Eaglemont project.

Eaglemont’s latest single ‘Heteronormative Nightmare’ tells several stories, all drawn from Jessop’s experience growing up gay.

“The catalyst that sparked the realisation, which is a story I tell before we play it live, was the night of my high school formal,” says Jessop.

“Sitting in the limousine on the way to the big event, I turned and looked at my lovely formal partner and all my friends and had the sinking feeling that I might’ve been a bit different from everyone else. A massive homosexual, if you will.”

It’s a driving indie rock number with gnarled guitar sounds and an engaging lead vocal melody. Comparisons can be made to the likes of Snail Mail and Girlpool, while Jessop’s candour recalls the early work of Perfume Genius.

“I like to let my influences bleed naturally into my music, rather than trying to manifest a certain sound or artist,” she says. “That being said, the studio in which we recorded is home to a lot of incredible records by the likes of Cash Savage, Courtney Barnett and Paul Kelly, so there was never any shortage of inspiration.”

Jessop was originally attracted to songwriting as a means of processing the challenges that came from moving around a lot as a kid.

“Being able to express myself through songwriting has always been a saving grace for me,” she says. “I’m just exceptionally grateful that my thoughts and feelings meet at a cross-section with music and songwriting, and that people get something out of the amalgamation of all those things.”

Although there’s not a great deal of it in the Eaglemont sound, Jessop cites Missy Higgins as an early influence. Serious music fans are all too quick to write off Higgins, but Jessop’s not hiding her affection.

“I mean she is undeniably Australia’s singer-songwriting shining star, but that second album On A Clear Night changed my life and is severely underrated.”

It’s been a busy few months for Eaglemont. ‘Heteronormative Nightmare’ came out in late September, just before Jessop and her band jumped on a national tour in support of Bec Sandridge. Eaglemont also dropped in for a set at Cash Savage’s triumphant Corner Hotel show in October.

“I totally think that the band and I have come into our own while on tour with Bec Sandridge the last few months. A well-oiled machine, almost. We’re very keen to end this mammoth year on a bang.”

Eaglemont supports El Tee for her front bar residency at The Tote on Tuesday December 3 and will come to Some Velvet Morning to perform alongside The Hunter Express.