People / TV

Safe in hiding: Gena Rose Bruce on making sense of it all

"There was a lot of Bruce Springsteen going on, you know. Obviously the Beatles, the Ramones, the Pixies; it’s a real broad range of music, and I kind of only nowadays am really getting back into them and being like 'Oh why does this sound so familiar?'. And it’s because my mum was playing it every single day."

Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Gena Rose Bruce seemed fated for a life in the music industry. Her parents met in a band ("My dad plays guitar and my mum, she was a singer also"), and her upbringing was surrounded by song. "As soon as I started high-school, I learnt that you could choose an instrument to play ... And that was the only thing that was making me excited about going to high school, that I could learn guitar."

Flash forward and Bruce is commanding stages across the country with her exceptional brand of indie dream-pop, distilled into a debut album Can't Make You Love Me; all smoky vocals and assured, spacious production. Once describe as “the love child of PJ Harvey and Nancy Sinatra”, we've been transfixed by the musician since we heard her first single, Coming Down.

On a moody morning at Sydney's iconic Golden Age Cinema, filmmaker Jordan Watton captures an intimate portrait of Bruce for; a visual reflection on disconnection and the ways in which loneliness can inspire creativity.