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BNNY Announces Debut Album with Ambulance Music Video

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Chicago-based band Bnny, led by Jess Viscius alongside her twin sister Alexa Viscius, plus best friends Tim Makowski, Matt Pelkey, and Adam Schubert, announce their debut album, Everything, out August 20th on Fire Talk. In conjunction, they present a new single/video, “Ambulance,” which follows the previously released “Time Walk.” Everything may as well be a field recording taken from the lone country of grief. Written in sessions that span several years by singer Jess Viscius as she processed the death of her partner, the album is a chronicle of love at its most complex and loss at its most persistent. Viscius and her bandmates render these songs as inky noir vignettes, with her half-whispered vocals giving them a sense of poise and power that’s cool to the touch, even as the songs find her at her most vulnerable. Jess Viscius started Bnny in the moment, after someone's guitar had been left at her apartment. After teaching herself a few chords, she quickly found songwriting to be therapeutic in ways visual art couldn't touch. Motivated by encouragement from her sister and former Bnny drummer Drew Ryan, her drive to make music stuck. “I don’t cry often, generally I’m not super emotional,” Viscius says. “But when I sit down to play guitar, I can get in touch with the side of myself that I only know exists when I’m writing.”

The first half of Everything was written in the midst of a tumultuous relationship, while the second half was composed in its aftermath, but both sides are haunted by romance—even when she writes about her anger and disillusionment, the soft husk of Viscius’ voice and the depth of the songwriting as a testament to the sweetness that’s been lost. In the early songs, Viscius mulls over her responsibilities, bites back at broken promises, and occasionally finds herself adrift. While Viscius cites the two-chord simplicity of the Velvet Underground as a major influence on her songwriting, she and her band use that minimalist blueprint to build sturdy songs that crackle with energy. The album was recorded at Chicago’s Jamdek Studios and various bedroom closets with producer Jason Balla of Dehd, and was mixed by Collin Dupuis. Everything is played in shades of blue, Viscius’ voice the color of morning light peeking through the blinds. Are these tunes familiar? Maybe, but so too is the sensation of falling in love and mourning its loss; in both instances, Everything is stamped with the complicated seal of the personal. “I don’t think you have to be a good musician to make good music,” Viscius says. “You just need to follow a feeling and be honest.” In Viscius’ words, new single “Ambulance” “is about wishful thinking. It’s about guilt and forgiveness. It’s about reconciling with your past. It’s about saying goodbye.” Her voice is airy over gentle guitar strums and minimal pluckings of bass. The video, self-directed and featuring Jess Viscius, was filmed by Alexa Viscius throughout the city of Chicago. It complements the melancholy-tinged mood of “Ambulance.”

Honesty, the sense of Bnny expanding as their world contracts, is ultimately what makes Everything such a powerful piece of music. Viscius toyed with the idea of only releasing the songs she wrote following her partner’s passing—the mournful, more pensive, and less castigating songs that make up the album’s second half. But, she figured, “That would only tell half of my truth. It seems more honest to include all of it, which is why I decided to call the album Everything. Because these songs, these memories, are everything I’ve got.”

Our Thoughts: BNNY's Ambulance is a haunting and beautiful expression of the depths in which we experience grief and confronting the self-doubt, anger, and disappointment that comes with it. The music video, shot on 8mm film in the streets of Chicago, seems to offer a perspective of the city that borders on nostalgic but with a sense of emptiness, almost as if the viewer is walking through places they've been before, but for whatever reason now feel unfamiliar. This song is the tension of a silent car ride with someone you love after a bad fight, the regret and uncertainty weighing heavy in the air. This song is the bittersweet feeling of saying goodbye to someone you love knowing it will be the last time for a long time. The feeling of regret knowing all the things you never said, or all the things you said too soon. Ambulance reminds me of that really specific type of sadness, the type where you feel all the pain you’ve ever experienced all at once and you want to scream or cry or run but instead you just don't move, frozen in time too scared to move forward and too hurt to look back. It feels like the emptiness of looking in the mirror after and not recognizing the broken and distorted version of yourself you see in your reflection. It's the loneliness you feel sitting in the parking lot of a store you never planned to actually go into, just to sit in your car and cry without anyone seeing you. Ambulance is a song that doesn't just describe but makes you feel the pain of falling apart and trying to put the shattered remains of the person you used to be back together again. ` Everything Tracklist

1. Ambulance 2. August 3. Promises 4. Take That Back 5. Time Walk 6. So Wrong 7. Sure 8. Not Even You 9. Blind 10. Dreaming 11. Thaw 12. Little Flower 13. Stardust 14. Voice Memo


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