“Sydney Sweeney” Is a Dramatic, Cinematic, and Emotionally-Charged Hit for Bridget Rian

Bridget Rian "Sydney Sweeney" © Libby Danforth
Bridget Rian "Sydney Sweeney" © Libby Danforth
Whether she’s pouring her heart into a dazzling alt-pop anthem or a smoldering slow-burn, singer/songwriter Bridget Rian aches from the inside out on “Sydney Sweeney,” an emotionally charged release of passion and pain that hits hard, leaves a lasting mark, and pays homage to a beloved actress – the fast-rising queen of inner turmoil.
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Stream: “Sydney Sweeney (alt-pop version)” – Bridget Rian




From unforgettable roles in HBO’s Euphoria, The White Lotus, and most recently, The Rolling Stones’ “Angry” music video, Sydney Sweeney brings drama, emotional nuance, and raw, visceral depth to everything she does.

The song named after her is just as cinematic as the star itself – a seductive, soul-stirring reckoning with toxic relationships that was so devastatingly beautiful, that it had to be recorded twice. Whether she’s pouring her heart into a dazzling alt-pop anthem or a smoldering slow-burn, singer/songwriter Bridget Rian aches from the inside out on “Sydney Sweeney,” an emotionally charged release of passion and pain that hits hard and leaves a lasting mark.

'Nuclear Family' EP - Bridget Rian
‘Nuclear Family’ EP – Bridget Rian
I don’t like how you drive me
You never stay in the lines
You’ve been saying some f’ed things lately
I’m wondering if you’re alright
You say don’t worry
I’m just seeing blurry
I never wear my glasses at night
I guess you’re alright
But are you alright

Maren Morris was most likely singing about love when she sang, “when the bones are good, the rest don’t matter,” but the same could apply to songwriting: When the bones are good, a song can be whatever you want it to be. Bruce Springsteen famously sings two completely different versions of his 1984 hit, “Born in the U.S.A.”: One upbeat and anthemic, as he first recorded it, and one slow and spine-chilling, melancholic and brooding – evoking the sheer, haunting pain of his lyrics.

Bridget Rian © Libby Danforth
Bridget Rian © Libby Danforth



It is in this manner that Nashville by-way-of Long Island singer/songwriter Bridget Rian offers her audience not one, but two different versions of “Sydney Sweeney,” both of which are available on her recently-released third EP, Nuclear Family (independently out now). The first “original” version, initially put out as a single back in August, is a heavy, heated ballad: Rian sings softly and tenderly over an increasingly turbulent pool of rock instrumentation, ultimately coming to a boil in a searing, churning electric guitar solo that burns with all the emotional heat she’s kept deep within. The second is a spirited, soaring “alt-pop version” that channels all that inner tension and turmoil into an invigorating anthem as Rian rises to tremendous heights, only to fall to breathtaking depths – and back again.

In both, she hits her stride in a catchy and cathartic chorus, unpacking the turmoil of a toxic relationship and all her anxiety and unrest:

Why does this feel like we’re in a movie scene?
There’s something off about
the way you’re looking at me

Are you gonna kiss me
or are you gonna kill me?

If this were a movie who would play me?
Sydney Sweeney?

The upheaval within comes to life through a candid and brutally honest confessional – the reference to Sydney Sweeney highlighting the actress’ proclivity toward especially dramatic, tumultuous, and emotionally charged roles. Rian feels like she’s in the eye of her own storm – so who better to portray her character than Sydney Sweeney, the rising queen of inner turmoil herself?

Stream: “Sydney Sweeney” – Bridget Rian




Bridget Rian © Libby Danforth
Bridget Rian © Libby Danforth



Are you gonna kiss me or are you gonna kill me? If this were a movie who would play me? Sydney Sweeney?

“‘Sydney Sweeney’ is a song that delves into the complex and often destructive nature of relationships that are marked by toxicity,” Rian tells Atwood Magazine.

“It offers a commentary on the harmful effects such relationships can have on one’s emotional and mental well-being, highlighting the need to recognize and address these issues to break free from their damaging grasp.”

“My goal was to create a song that captured the essence of these relationships, reminiscent of the feeling of ‘dying in a desert in the ’70s,” she adds. “The song exudes a cinematic and dramatic vibe that mirrors our love-hate relationship with these types of relationships.”

When we left the party
you said you were okay to drive

You spent the whole night talking
to girls convincing them to get high

You said don’t worry
That you’d never hurt me
Cross your heart and hope to die
I guess you’re alright
But are you alright
Bridget Rian © Libby Danforth
Bridget Rian © Libby Danforth



Though she released her debut single just two and a half years ago, Bridget Rian is no stranger to Atwood Magazine‘s pages; we previously premiered her brightly charged breakup anthem “new hampshire,” which featured on 2022’s sophomore EP Screaming At the Stars. In addition to declaring the song itself “an all-around triumph,” we praised Rian’s emotive performance – one that went well beyond her “voice full of heat and conviction”:

“There’s something undeniably refreshing about Rian’s individualism and uncompromising spirit: She beats to the tune of her own drum, and that verve translates directly into her uplifting and energizing music.”

That same tenacity comes to light throughout both versions of “Sydney Sweeney,” and indeed the entirety of Bridget Rian’s latest EP. Nuclear Family is billed as “a profound insight into the complex dynamics of our first and closest relationships.” Produced by Paul Moak (Caitlyn Smith, Liz Longley, Gabe Dixon) and recorded at The Smoakstack in Nashville, Tennessee, the six-track record also features the vividly vulnerable singles “Milk” and “Super 8,” the former of which reflects on the impact of our upbringings on our own perspectives on love and intimacy.

“My goal was to create songs that capture the essence of these relationships,” Rian says. In “Sydney Sweeney,” she quite literally doubles down, coming to a fever pitch as she struggles through instability – part of her enjoying the mess, the other part knowing it might very well tear her apart. To highlight this, she ever-so-slightly tweaks the last chorus, emphatically singing, “Are you gonna kiss me or are you gonna kill me? Do we end up crashing or do we end up living?

Bridget Rian © Libby Danforth
Bridget Rian ‘Nuclear Family’ © Libby Danforth



There’s a “Sydney Sweeney” song for all seasons.

Whether you’re in need of a slow-burning ballad or an irresistible alt-pop anthem, Bridget Rian has you covered – flooding our ears and hearts with feverish passion and raw emotion as she navigates a fractured relationship’s unrelenting storms. Get lost in the breathtaking beauty of her songwriting, and enjoy dwelling in the deep end through two different tracks that inevitably evoke the same sense of all-consuming cathartic release.

Bridget Rian really has gone nuclear, and “Sydney Sweeney” is her not-so-secret weapon.

Why does this feel like we’re in a movie scene
There’s something off about the way you’re looking at me
Are you gonna kiss me or are you gonna kill me?
If this were a movie who would play me?
Sydney Sweeney?
Why does this feel like we’re in a movie scene
There’s something off about the way you’re looking at me
Are you gonna kiss me or are you gonna kill me?
Do we end up crashing or do we end up living?
Are you gonna kiss me or are you gonna kill me?
If this were a movie who would play me?
Sydney Sweeney?

— —

:: stream/purchase Nuclear Family here ::
:: connect with Bridget Rian here ::
Stream: “Sydney Sweeney (alt-pop version)” – Bridget Rian



— — — —

'Nuclear Family' EP - Bridget Rian

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? © Libby Danforth


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