Even though Brigitte Bardini's debut album 'Stellar Lights' has been two years in the making, the record evokes a sound and aesthetic that has taken a lifetime to craft.
Emerging into the world with singles 'Aphrodite', 'Wild Ride', and 'Heartbreaker' – and now a 14-track album – the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter has carved a niche for herself in the realm of dream pop with ethereal electronica beats and pulsing piano rhythms.
While reminiscent of '90s legends Mazzy Star and The Cure, Bardini's cultivation of art keeps her firmly planted in the garden of the present.
The album was conceived from a dream the 21-year-old artist had featuring meteor showers that doused her in heat and caused her ears to ring.
The vivid, apocalyptic experience awakened her to the existential ideas that influences her songs.
In 'Peacemaker' she asks: "What's to be done here to satisfy my unsettling mind?"
While it may seem like she's struggling to find her calling in life, something that a white-picket fence can't satisfy, one conversation with Brigitte about the meaning of life will have you convinced she's got it all figured out.
"Even if what you're writing about is about hurt or pain, anything like that, it's the fact that there are other people out there who just want to feel like they're not alone in their experiences.
"You can give them that thing to look to and say: 'Someone else has that.'"
Bardini picked up a guitar for the first time when she was 18, but the riffs on songs such as 'Wild Ride' and 'Made Of Gold' show her ease with incorporating new instruments into her songs.
The petal-soft piano melodies and shiver-inducing synthesizer on 'Feel My Love' portray how comfortable she is in blending the acoustic and the electronic to showcase her molasses-rich vocals and striking lyrics.
Her influences for this album range from the evocative and heartbreaking Jeff Buckley to the raw and powerful PJ Harvey.
The way Buckley experienced and expressed his love for music inspired Bardini to play guitar, fuelled by the need to have music in her life, and to share that music with others.
PJ Harvey's raw artistry is something Bardini is still aspiring too. She points out the truth that each of her influences express in their art: the human experience that lasts forever.
"That's what music is at the end of the day," Brigitte offers, "connecting with people and being unified with one another through our experiences and emotions.
"That's the main thing when it comes to art in general."
Ultimately, 'Stellar Lights' is a celebration of the way we can affect other people's lives.
In 'Everyday', arguably the most shoegaze-like song on the album with wailing guitars and steady drumming, Bardini proclaims that "everyday I breathe for you". On 'Could've Been', with its waltz-like organ beat propelling the song like a dance, she spins a tale of an almost-love that wasn't meant to be.
Whether through romantic relationships or through laptop speakers, our connections are what make life worth living, and make surviving from one disaster to the next mean something.
When lockdown hit in 2020, Bardini used the time to strengthen her album.
Her song 'Breathe' is a personal favourite of hers about a special moment in time that she had with a friend. The track is a reminder to connect with her loved ones and breathe in the moments she spends with them.
It's a song she's looking forward to performing for a live audience, when the time comes, to share those moments with people.
She hopes what people get from her album is connection, feeling heard and understood, fulfilment, and satisfaction.
It seems a daunting task for one person, but Brigitte Bardini's debut album is testament of her ability to set universal experiences to an everlasting soundtrack.