Bored At My Grandma’s House, the nom de plume for Leeds based singer-songwriter Amber Strawbridge, has released a track, the bare bones ‘China Doll’.
Charmingly lo-fi and musically simplistic, the tune is little more than an acoustic guitar, a few blippy-bloopy synthesizer noises, and Strawbridge’s gentle voice. No studio wizardry, no excessive sonic soundscapes, just a girl and her guitar. It’s quite calming, and quite good.
Bored At My Grandma’s House is the prototypical bedroom pop project. Evoking images of nostalgia that contrast modern thoughts of anxiety, Strawbridge makes the kind of music that our competitors over at Dork would likely call a “bop” to get hip with the kids (good natured swipes aside, I’m just jealous they got the press release before I did. Those bastards.)
“‘China Doll’ is about a time where loads of cool things were happening to me like getting signed, my music doing well and achieving things I never thought I could’ve achieved if you’d asked me last year yet I was feeling super low,” Strawbridge explains. “It’s about feeling not very happy during a time when people would expect you to be happiest. The second verse touches on how I stayed super busy during lockdown as a form of distraction from how I was really feeling. Keeping busy means you don’t really get time to process emotions so it’s a method of avoidance.”
The version of ‘China Doll’ currently available through your streaming platform of choice is labeled as a demo, which probably explains the minimalist production style, but it also makes me curious to hear a fully-arranged version of the tune. I find the paired-back aesthetics of the recording charming, but maybe a beefed up version really would make it more of a “bop” (I hate that stupid goddamn word. Here’s to never using it again).
Check out the audio for ‘China Doll’ down below.