NPR Heavy Rotation: Bully, ‘Milkman’

Bully's EP is out now.
Bully’s EP is out now.

I wrote this short capsule review of “Milkman” by Bully — an excellent new band I first came across during this year’s CMJ Music Marathon, in a crazy early noon slot at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg. You can read that over at NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation.

Below, you can find the longer version.

There was no shortage of noisy guitar bands at this year’s CMJ Music Marathon in New York. But amid so much punk, and pop punk, and post-punk, one discovery that stood out was Bully. Fronted by guitarist, singer, and engineer Alicia Bognanno, the young Nashville band thrashes around with the best of them — firing off songs that burst with gravelly kicked-in speaker distortion and lacerating riffs. Yet with “Milkman,” Bully goes straight for the heart with catchy melodies and Bognanno’s sly lyrical turns.

Fast and fun, the song reveals complexity by imagining a simpler life away from the cluttered thoughts and indecision that can weigh you down into anxiety, depression, and perhaps even hospitalization (“Then I checked out 10 months ago / I’ve never felt that way before”). But as she takes control of her life, and embraces who she wants to be, Bognanno rediscovers an exuberance and love that she’s probably not felt in some time: “I got this feeling that makes me wanna run.” If you’re feeling down, “Milkman” is a joyful two minute blast that will have you bouncing around in no time.