Things are ramping up over at Seagreen Records! After their massive Valentine’s Day compilation, the Watertown, CT label is trotting out the debut full-length from Sun Dummy (Lizzy Costello of Special Explosion). Entitled Bunny, the 12-track tape finds Costello working with a variety of sounds; synth arps, pitch-shifted vocals, drum machines, and the occasional electric guitar speak to a joy in experimentation. At the core of the record are Costello’s confident, expressive vocals and the time-honored predilection for the acoustic folk guitar.
Highlights here are numerous: “Flower,” caked in reverb and guided by ghostly synth whispers, is a mournful tune reminiscent of late-period Atlas Sound. Tender guitar strumming and distorted electric piano on “Soap” call to mind both the music and the imagery of Sparklehorse. “What U Need,” with its glitch synth lines and processed vocals invokes Katie Dey (of recent Orchid Tapes fame).
Perhaps the most poignant expression of the album’s musical and lyrical themes is “Shit Heart,” pairing an electric guitar, a drum machine, and an unwavering confession of selfishness, vulnerability, and desperation that belies the album’s playful cover and title. It is precisely this tension between surface-level happiness and submerged discontent that propels Bunny out of the temporal arena of straight-to-Bandcamp bedroom pop into the realm of compelling artistic expression.
Photo credit: Tommy Calderon