LOSING OUT NOW ON SUB POP
Watch the video for “Focused,” directed by Rozalina Burkova
Bully has not stopped since the the release of their ferocious and powerful sophomore album Losing on Sub Pop last Fall. The Nashville 4-piece is headed by Alicia Bognanno, who’s songwriting not only cuts to core but has a vocal snarl unlike any other.
The video for “Focused” is out today, directed by Rozalina Burkova, who tell us that the animated music video is “loosely based on the theme of coming of age and the ups and downs friendships and relationships.” Alicia went on to say, “I let Rozalina take the reins on this one. I am a huge fan of all her animation work and wanted her to do what she felt was best for this video.”
“The bass hops around nervously in nearly constant eighth notes, with drums syncopated against it à la the Police; a guitar on the left offers a neat new-wave hook while another one on the right grumbles occasionally with dissonant, distorted squawks. And as those tensions flare into multiple little crescendos, the singer Alicia Bognanno gets herself more and more worked up.” –New York Times
“Instead of recreating the Rorschach blot scream-a-thons of the ’90s, Bully choose to inflate that decade’s raw timbre with words that feel intimate and necessary.”
“Alicia Bognanno has the loveliest snarl this side of Nirvana’s Live at Reading. That it’s in a pop-punk setting, with lyrics reckoning with adulthood, only strengthens its power.” –New York Magazine
“full of tough-earned wisdom and egalitarian rage, Losing is a high-energy, high-impact emotional workout for everyone involved.” –Wired
“Expect lots more of Bognanno’s sharp, cynical emotional insights and impassioned yells, all backed by Bully’s gnawing, ’90s-inspired sound.” -SPIN
“The record once again faces down youthful angst, but with a notable growth in Bognanno’s maturity” –Consequence of Sound
“Alicia Bognanno has a way of channeling her inner struggles into tightly-constructed and toiled-over rock songs with a classic touch.”
“Losing is another blast of raw, Singles-era guitar rock that captures what made the debut so appealing.” Under the Radar
“Bognanno explores a lot of loss, diving headfirst into the complicated emotions associated with death, heartbreak, isolation and more. The result is an especially personal effort, a batch of songs that are blistering and angst-ridden, but which still boast a wink toward playful pop. Bognanno’s not wrong when she says it tops Feels Like.” –Nashville Scene
BULLY – LOSING
BY PATTY SCHEMEL
In rock – as in life – change is unavoidable, often painful, but ultimately necessary, and Alicia Bognanno and her band Bully have dealt with a lot of it since their debut record
Feels Like hit in 2015. Now with a new label and another couple years worth of life experience, the 12 new songs on Losing feel like perfect anthems for a generation still learning to harness the power of resistance. With a vocal style that is as pretty as it is powerful, and emotionally resonant lyrics, Alicia channels the loss of innocence and reveals a raw honesty in songs that are distinctly hers.
I love Bully the way I love Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr and the Breeders. Their sound takes me back to the stripped down and thoughtfully engineered songs that haunt me long after they’re gone and never get old. Another good reason to be with Sub Pop, who have always been associated with music that is built to last.
I feel like all my best work has been born of heartbreak and upheaval; maybe most musicians feel that way. “The title of the record –Losing – kind of says it all,” Alicia says. “After being on the road so long and coming back to Nashville we all had a lot of changes going on in our personal lives that we were trying to deal with / adjust to and that was really the motivation for this one.”
“Feel the Same” is about being stuck in the claustrophobia of a manic state of mind. It’s Alicia’s favorite song to scream. “Seeing It,” she says, is about the unique anxiety and vigilance about personal safety that comes with being a woman: “Such a blurring place to be / stuck in your own body.” Lately Alicia has been lending her voice as an advocate for gun control, women’s rights and speaking out in support of animal rights. In some ways my generation were in a bubble in the 90s; I never gave any thought to what Bill Clinton was up to, for instance – but in 2017, Losing sounds like a personal and necessary call to arms to me; we need rock n roll now more than ever.
Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen