Aural Fix: Bully

Photo Credit: Bobbi Rich

When making a Bully record, Alicia Bognanno prefers recording to tape. Rather than relying on the endless tweaks and edits that digital recording offers, Bognanno chases the most accurate representation of a live performance. Recording take after take, you’ll eventually have to commit to the one that feels best. With that, any imperfections caught on tape may wind up on the record. This is Bully at it’s core: decisive, honest and unapologetic.

Taking cues from ‘90s artists like the Breeders and Hole, their music is anything but derivative. Bully specializes in fast, fuzzy rock songs. Bognanno’s raspy shouts and pop hooks pull you into her world. She has a way of writing personal songs that are up for interpretation, leaving room for listeners to find new meaning. After listening to their latest album, Sugaregg, you may feel less alone. There’s a comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one facing uncertainties.

Since forming the band in 2013, Bognanno parted ways with previous bandmates and Bully essentially became a solo project. Having recorded and produced the first two Bully albums herself, Bognanno gave up the role as engineer and headed into Pachyderm Studios with John Congelton (Angel Olsen, St. Vincent, Sleater-Kinney) in 2019. Touching on themes of change, mental health and society’s expectations of women, Sugaregg is a welcome reminder that confidence and self-worth should be celebrated.

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Gus Dapperton Press Photo

After a few delays due to the pandemic, Sugaregg was finally released on Sub Pop in August, 2020 and it seems as though Bully could not wait another day to get back on the road. They are currently on an extensive summer tour and will be playing two nights at Mississippi Studios with New York’s Lightning Bug. Tickets for their Monday, September 6th show are still available but get them quick! Tuesday, September 7th has long been sold out.