Bully burst onto the scene in 2015 with their critically acclaimed album Feels Like. Today the band announces their Sub Pop debut Losing, and share lead track “Feel The Same.”
Fronted by Alicia Bognanno, Bully was born in 2013. Bognanno was an engineer who 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, with 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.
Losing is available for pre-order now from Sub Pop Records and Bully’s webstore. LP pre-orders of the album from Sub Pop and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser Edition on clear vinyl with black swirls (while supplies last).
Losing was engineered and mixed by lead-singer Alicia Bognanno in Chicago at Electrical Audio.
1. Feel the Same
2. Kills to Be Resistant
4. Seeing It
5. Guess There
8. Not the Way
10. Either Way
11. You Could Be Wrong
12. Hate and Control
More About Bully and 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]
Bully Tour Dates + Ticket Links
Bully will head out on a North American Tour beginning November 2nd. Highlights include Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 13th, Thalia Hall in Chicago in two nights at the Mercy Lounge in the band’s hometown of Nashville.
11/02/17- St Louis MO - Off Broadway
11/03/17 - Iowa City IA - The Mill
11/04/17 - Minneapolis MN - Fine Line Music Cafe
11/06/17 - Madison WI - High Noon Saloon
11/07/17 - Chicago IL - Thalia Hall
11/08/17 - Detroit MI - Marble Bar
11/09/17 - Toronto ON - Lee’s Palace
11/10/17 - Montreal QC - Bar le Ritz
11/12/17 - Boston MA - Great Scott
11/13/17 - Brooklyn NY - Music Hall of WIlliamsburg
11/14/17 - Philadelphia PA - First Unitarian Church
11/15/17 - Washington DC - U Street Music Hall
11/17/17 - Charlottesville VA - The Southern
11/18/17 - Durham NC - Motorco Music Hall
11/19/17 - Asheville NC - The Mothlight
12/06/17 - Little Rock AR - Stickyz
12/07/17 - Dallas TX - Club Dada
12/08/17 - Austin TX - Emo’s
12/09/17 - Houston TX - Walter’s
12/10/17 - New Orleans LA - Gasa Gasa
12/12/17 - Birmingham AL - Saturn
12/13/17 - Atlanta GA - Terminal West
12/14/17 - Nashville TN - Mercy Lounge
12/15/17 - Nashville TN - Mercy Lounge