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Can’t Make You Love Me is the debut album from Melbourne based Gena Rose Bruce. Bruce’s vocals drive this album; a stirring force amidst the pulsing rhythms, echoes of Mazzy Star and Lynchian undertones. Add to this the masterful restraint in the arrangements and one has an album that is both instantly timeless and unmistakably contemporary. In December 2017, Bruce pulled herself out of a toxic relationship, shifting focus entirely towards her music. “I quit my job, gave up the room I was renting and left the whole situation. I spent three months alone at a family property in Warrnambool on the south coast of Australia and wrote the album. It was a healing time.” The place was a small weatherboard near the ocean in the middle of nowhere. Secluded and eerily quiet, Bruce credits the album’s darker edges in part to this environment; “It’s not a sunny beach town, it’s very melancholic. Even in the middle of summer there was no-one around.” But it was here that she regained focus and confidence, entering a period of intense creative output. With fresh perspective, lyrics fell into place, followed by sound. Producer Tim Harvey and Bruce bounced ideas constantly. “There was lots of demoing and experimenting. We didn’t feel I had to fit to any genre—we just wanted it to be ‘me’.” Consequently, Can’t Make You Love Me is a distinct and dynamic debut from a young artist with a clear vision. With its infectious melodies, sultry vocal performances and biting lyricism it’s thrillingly playful and confessional. Bruce presents a refreshing brand of vulnerability through unfettered explorations of her life choices.