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Bully burst onto the scene in 2015 with their critically acclaimed album Feels Like. Today the band announces Losing. The album was engineered and mixed by lead-singer Alicia Bognanno in Chicago at Electrical Audio.
Fronted by Alicia Bognanno, Bully was
born in 2013. Bognanno was an engineer who had cut her teeth working at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Together with guitarist Clayton Parker and Reece Lazarus on bass, they made a debut album received unanimous critical acclaim and Bognanno became a point of intrigue. A rock icon in the making, with her signature scream, messy blonde hair hanging in her face, and formidable skills as both a player and a engineer who prefers recording to tape. “The coarse Cobain head-scream of Bully singer, songwriter and guitarist Alicia Bognanno is its own resuscitating jolt of protest,” said Pitchfork. “She spends much of Feels Like tearing the house down with her howl.” The success propelled the band into an exhaustive touring cycle with spots on huge festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapallooza, Pitchfork Music Festival and ACL and a late night appearance on Conan.
While Feels Like tumbled headlong into the precarious nature of Bognanno’s young adult life, Losing is a document of the complexity of growth: navigating breakups with sensitivity, learning not to run away from your troubles but to face them no matter how messy they may be. The debut single, “Feel The Same’ is the album opener. Like an electric-shock Bognanno is back in your face tackling the angst of a young person feeling their way through the world. The song describes the prison of a manic mind-set, being trapped in your own head. On “Seeing It” she addresses the issue of personal safety and navigating the world as a woman. On “Running” she focuses on personal relationships and the avoidance of facing the demise of a personal relationship.
Losing is an internal, carefully focused record, a universalized diary and an exorcism—not of any one specific demon, but the host of them that characterize contemporary anxieties. Bully are growing up, sure, but their fire is in no way diminishing.
Silver Haze is the second full-length by New York City’s Aye Nako. The album features 12 songs recorded last year at Room 17 in Brooklyn with Joe Rogers and will be released via Don Giovanni Records on April 7th.
Formed in 2010, Aye Nako is a queer punk band comprised of four weirdos that write disorienting, but highly melodic punk songs while carving out a space to co-exist in the fold between art, music, and politics. They’re a punk band, but not necessarily of the power-chord-playing variety. The songs on Silver Haze are dense and detailed, formed from a private language of interlocking melodies and rhythms.
It’s music that makes use of blunt force, but also finds room for deep detail. Songs hinge on the call and response between Mars Dixon and Jade Payne, who split vocal and guitar duties. These are complex compositions that document difficult feelings -- about trauma, abuse, and discrimination. And while there’s a spirit of confrontation, there’s also a deeply felt tenderness. Distortion and grit regularly pivot into moments of woozy bliss. The personal past is frequently exhumed and examined. Silver Haze opens with “We’re Different Now” places a tape collage of Dixon and their childhood friend’s playtime over a rhythm track, documenting a frozen moment of innocence. Closer “Maybe She’s Bored With It” is a journalistic snapshot of the singer’s first day-job working the early morning shift at an Arkansas make-up factory.
Originally formed to subdue personal boredom, but now operating on another frequency, Aye Nako are actively seeking a planet where those who fall in the margins can feel okay about being themselves. The band has self-released one full length, Unleash Yourself (2013), and also put out an EP, The Blackest Eye (2015) through Don Giovanni Records. They have toured throughout the US with Screaming Females, Joanna Gruesome, and Speedy Ortiz.
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103