Posts Tagged ‘Sugaregg’

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Bully are one of the most exciting punk bands of the past decade. 2015’s Feels Like and 2017’s Losing didn’t necessarily reinvent anything, but its fuzzy, melodic rock songs were consistently invigorating, with Alicia Bognanno’s raspy voice packing a major punch. Bognanno is behind the boards again for her new record “Sugaregg”, but this time she’s joined by a producer for the first time, John Congleton—not the worst choice for your first co-producer! Even after just one spin, it’s clear that Bognanno hasn’t taken her foot off the punk gas pedal. Her third album and second for Sub Pop is empowering, unrelenting and utterly gripping, with a chance of raw explosiveness at any moment. Even the more subtle numbers like “What I Wanted” and “Prism” will leave a cloud of exhaust smoke and tread marks.

Bully thrives in discomfort. The disconnect between “normal,” actualized and idealized ideas of life rages through their music. The pull toward a spiritually-dead life as a milkman, emotional stasis in the face of outward turmoil, trying and failing to even understand your own mind; these spectres haunt and propel Bully’s music. On the band’s new single, “Every Tradition,” the second off of their forthcoming album, “Sugaregg” (out on August. 21st via Sub Pop Records), Bully leans into the underlying conflict of their music. With incendiary guitars and Alicia Bognanno’s sneering delivery, the band unleashes an anthem for anyone finding themselves out of step with the expectations that are placed on them

“Every Tradition” by Bully from their album “SUGAREGG” (Release Date: 21st August 2020 on Sub Pop Records)

Bully’s “Hours and Hours” is the latest standout from Sugaregg, her incredible new album.

Alicia Bognanno offers this about the song, “‘Hours and Hours’ is about my mother and I finally figuring out our relationship. She and I had a really hard time connecting growing up and at times felt like it would never happen. Over the past five years we have become best friends, she is now the very first person I call when I am at my absolute lowest and has saved my life. I realize now how similar we are and how that probably had everything to do with why we had a difficult time with each other growing up. I wish I knew sooner how much we could relate but am eternally grateful that we have figured it out now and I’m just so thankful to be on good terms, I love her dearly.”

Bully will release “Sugaregg” on August 21st, 2020 worldwide through Sub Pop Records.

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Where to start is out today, crazy to finally be putting out the first single of the third record after three years of work. It feels insensitive to be releasing music at a time like this as I don’t want to take up space from everybody sharing important information on how to stay active and informed on racial inequality. I’ve pushed the release back as far as I could and for many reasons I’ve gotta bite the bullet and put it out into the world. With touring not being an option for the foreseeable future, all musicians have right now to keep their jobs going is social media to promote music. I’ll continue to post ways to stay active alongside posts about the single and record to come, as we all should keep doing. Injustice for people of colour has been an ongoing issue since day one and all of us that have never experienced the pain and prejudice that happens daily in the black community need to make not a week or a month, but a lifelong commitment to stay active and work towards equality.

Yes indeed, you read that headline right. Bully will release “Sugaregg”, her third album, worldwide on August 21st through Sub Pop Records. The 12-track effort was produced and mixed by John Congleton and Bully’s Alicia Bognanno, with additional production and mixing by Graham Walsh, recorded at Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and Palace Sound in Toronto, Ontario, and mastered by Heba Kadry. You can now watch the official video for the cathartic lead single  “Where to Start” right here. The visual is directed by Alan Del Rio Ortiz and Bognanno.

The single, “’Where to Start’ boasts Bully’s characteristic high-energy snarl, as growling guitars lead into Bognanno’s raspy-throated condemnation: “I don’t know where to start/I don’t know where to start with you.” Decidedly more jangly guitars then usher us all the way into the guts of the song — a mixture of sweet and sour, soft and frustrated,

Preorders of “SUGAREGG” are now available from Sub Pop. The limited Loser edition on a translucent blue w/white “smoke” colored vinyl. Meanwhile, preorders in the U.K. and Europe through select independent retailers will receive the Loser edition on transparent red vinyl. There will also be a new t-shirt design available.

About Bully’s “SUGAREGG” A very old saying goes that no one saves us but ourselves. Recognizing and breaking free from the patterns impeding our forward progress can be transformative — just ask Bully’s Alicia Bognanno. Indeed, the third Bully album, SUGAREGG, may not ever have come to fruition had Bognanno not navigated every kind of upheaval imaginable and completely overhauled her working process along the way.

“There was change that needed to happen and it happened on this record,” she says. “Derailing my ego and insecurities allowed me to give these songs the attention they deserved.”

“SUGAREGG” roars from the speakers and jumpstarts both heart and mind. Like My Bloody Valentine after three double espressos, opener “Add It On” zooms heavenward within seconds, epitomizing Bognanno’s newfound clarity of purpose, while the bass-driven melodies and propulsive beats of “Where to Start” and “Let You” are the musical equivalents of the sun piercing through a perpetually cloudy sky.

On songs like the strident “Every Tradition” and “Not Ashamed,” Bognanno doesn’t shy away from addressing “how I feel as a human holds up against what society expects or assumes of me as a woman, and what it feels like to naturally challenge those expectations.”

But amongst the more dense topics, there’s also a light-heartedness that was lacking on Bully’s last album, 2017’s Losing. Pointing to “Where to Start,” “You” and “Let You,” Bognanno says “there are more songs about erratic, dysfunctional love in an upbeat way, like, ‘I’m going down and that’s the only way I want to go because the momentary joy is worth it.’”

The artist admits that finding the proper treatment for bipolar 2 disorder radically altered her mindset, freeing her from a cycle of paranoia and insecurity about her work. “Being able to finally navigate that opened the door for me to write about it,” she says, pointing to the sweet, swirly “Like Fire” and slower, more contemplative songs such as “Prism” and “Come Down” as having been born of this new headspace. Even small changes like listening to music instead of the news first thing in the morning “made me want to write and bring that pleasure to other people.”

An unexpected foray into the film world also helped set the table for Sugaregg when Bognanno was asked to write songs for the 2019 movie Her Smell, starring Elisabeth Moss as the frontwoman of the fictional rock band Something She. “It got me motivated to play music again after the last album,” she says. “I loved reading the script and trying to think, what music would the character write? People asked if I’d play those songs with Bully but the whole point was for them to not be Bully songs. It was nice to get my head out of my own ass for a second and work on a project for someone else,” she says with a laugh.

A highly accomplished engineer who ran the boards herself on the first two Bully albums, Bognanno was ready to be free “from the weight of feeling like I had to prove to the world I was capable of engineering a record, and wanted to be content knowing for myself what I can do without needing the approval of others to validate that.”

So for SUGAREGG, she yielded recording and mixing responsibilities to outside collaborators for the first time and trekked to the remote Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minn., an unexpected return to her home state. Behind the console was John Congleton, a Grammy-winner who has worked with everyone from St. Vincent and Sleater-Kinney to The War on Drugs and Modest Mouse. “Naturally, I still had reservations, but John was sensitive to where I was coming from,” Bognanno says. “He was very respectful that I’d never worked with a producer before.”

The studio’s rich history (classics such as Nirvana’s In Utero, PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me and Superchunk’s Foolish were recorded there) and woodsy setting quickly put Bognanno’s mind at ease. Being able to bring her dog Mezzi along for the trip didn’t hurt either. “I had never tracked a record in the summer, so waking up and going outside with her before we started each day was a great way to refresh,” she says.

SUGAREGG features additional contributions from long time touring drummer Wesley Mitchell and bassist Zach Dawes, renowned for his work on recent albums by Sharon Van Etten and Lana Del Rey. Dawes and Bognanno met at Pachyderm to work on parts just two days before tracking, “but it ended up being so much less stressful than I had expected and I loved it,” she says. “Zach wanted to be there to help and make my vision happen.”

With 14 songs on tape, Bognanno and friends left Pachyderm thinking SUGAREGG was done. But once back home in Nashville, she realized there was more to be written, and spent the next five months doing exactly that. Moving to Palace Studios in Toronto with Graham Walsh (Alvvays, METZ, !!!), Bognanno and Mitchell recorded “Where to Start” and “Let You,” which proved to be two of the new album’s key tracks.

Ultimately, SUGAREGG is a testament that profound change can yield profound results — in this case, the most expressive and powerful music of Bognanno’s career. “This is me longing to see the bigger picture, motivated and eager for contentment in the best way,” she says. “I hope the happy go lucky / fuck-it-all attitude shines through some of these songs because I really did feel like I was reentering a place I hadn’t been to in a while and was excited to be back there.”

Bully from their album “SUGAREGG” (Release Date: 21st August 2020 on Sub Pop Records.

Alicia Bognanno channeled the 1997 Chumbawamba classic “Tubthumping” when it came to writing her new single, “Where to Start” The first song off of Bully’s upcoming third album, Sugaregg (out August 21 via Subpop records).

“I was listening to ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba and picking apart the melodic structure and sort of trying to mimic that,” Bognanno tells us. “I’m not even joking; it still makes me laugh to think about. But let’s be real, that is undeniably a solid song. ‘Where to Start’ addresses the frustration that comes along with love having the ability to fully control your mood and mental state for better or worse. It was therapeutic to funnel some lightheartedness into what can be an otherwise draining state of mind.”

“Where to Start” boasts Bully’s characteristic high-energy snarl, as growling guitars lead into Bognanno’s raspy-throated condemnation: “I don’t know where to start/I don’t know where to start with you.” Decidedly more jangly guitars then usher us all the way into the guts of the song — a mixture of sweet and sour, soft and frustrated.

Wow wow wow SUGAREGG is finally available for pre-order today and officially out August 21st. I spent the past 3 years working on this record and am so very excited, proud and terrified haha. Sometimes ya just gotta take a big leap, do all you can and hope for the best ya know what I mean? Anyhow the most greatest thanks to everyone involved: Wes Mitchell, John Congleton, Zach Dawes, Graham Walsh, Heba Kadry, Ryan Matteson, Madelyn Anderson, Tony Kiewel and everyone else whomst I absolutely adore at Sub Pop. More soon!


Bully – “Where to Start” , Sub Pop records