April 29, 2014

7": Bully - "Milkman" / "Faceblind"

Bully: champions of escapist pop. 

Whenever I listen to Bully's "Milkman", I reminisce about the summer after I graduated high school. I imagine all my best friends piled into one car, tearing up the highway with our hearts set on the beach, even though I'm pretty sure a road trip like that never actually happened. We spent that summer driving to Sonic, to the new Harry Potter movie, to a watermelon festival. We were living minute by minute, having as much fun as we could as fast as we could as we were hyperaware of how soon it would be gone. I wish I had a mix CD with "Milkman" on it back then, because it's the perfect song to blast over and over on any kind of adventure. Each burst of fuzzy riffs makes me want to drive faster, or just find some grassy spot where I can jump out and spin around. Alicia Bognanno, the singer of the Nashville-based band, sounds like she's been yelling for days, a badass who's having a blast. "I could be a milkman, or I could get up and I could be what I want to be". It's as if she's not afraid of a wide open future, and I just want to feel that stoked too.

"Faceblind" sounds like a lazy Saturday morning, still curled up in bed way past noon, wearing my ex-boyfriend's old soccer shorts and sipping coffee but wondering how long I should wait before switching to booze. Killing time because no one wants to hang out yet, scribbling a few fragments of of nothing then crossing them out, convincing myself that no one pays attention to what I write anyway. Alicia sings about feeling similarly invisible and forgettable. Like no one's ever listening. I feel like every line of this song has crossed my mind at some point during the past year while moving to a new city and returning to an old city and realizing that I don't know how to make new friends and panicking about missing out. Alicia screams "I'm at the bottom of a well," and that's generally how I've felt about life after college. I love the clash of feelings embodied in these two songs. Bully captures the difference between a headspace where I've been stuck for what seems like forever and a sense of freedom that I just haven't glimpsed yet. There's hope. I think.


Listen to Bully on bandcamp.

Caroline Rayner, who likes getting tattoos and cutting up old magazines and driving long distances and baking cookies. She also writes things for Tiny Mix Tapes and, when she remembers, her blog.