“Suddenly everything is easy, I’ve never felt something so deeply because of you, I can breathe again, baby, you’re my oxygen.” Those are the lyrics to the chorus of the Beach Bunny song, “Oxygen”. The track is a heaven sent slice of pop perfection and, honestly, the sentiment in those words is how you will end up feeling about this band after listening to their extremely satisfying new album Emotional Creature.
The Chicago based quartet started out as a bedroom project from lead vocalist and songwriter Lili Trifilio and has blossomed into a full fledged band after Trifilio needed to put one together to join a local Battle of the Bands competition in 2015. Since then, the fleshed out lineup of Jon Alvarado on drums, Matt Henkels on guitar and Anthony Vaccaro on bass, have set hearts aflutter with their brand of beautifully made crunchy pop rock. Trifilio not only knows how to craft perfect hooks but lyrically captures the emotional messiness of youth without being overly melodramatic. It’s an amazing balancing act to hear something so earnest without it being too saccharine. Sean O’Keefe, the producer known for his work with Fall Out Boy, Motion City Soundtrack and Hawthorne Heights, brings a glittery sheen to the proceedings that makes it even easier to fall for Trifilio’s songs. Even through the album’s huge production, there is an honest simplicity on display here that harkens back to what acts like Liz Phair, that dog, Velocity Girl and Juliana Hatfield brought to the pop world in the late 90s and early 00s. Don’t think this is simply a cut and paste pastiche of 90s alt rock. Emotional Creaturefeels so fresh, fun and full of love that Beach Bunny aren’t standing in anyone’s shadows but out in front, soaking up all the sun.
Kicking off with “Entropy” and filtered out intro that positively explodes when Trifilio’s vocals begin. The song captures perfectly the feelings of trying to be casually cool around a crush. Musically and lyrically, it’ll make you feel like you’re feeling those emotions again for the first time, and it totally rules. One new thing this time around for Beach Bunny is the use of synths on the record. Now, don’t assume because of this the band has completely changed directions. The electronics are used perfectly to enhance the tracks and never do they provide a distraction. The band is completely firing on all cylinders here. Alvarado’s drumming in particular is a stand out. Complex and interesting but never drowning out Trifilio’s intentions. The lead guitar riff in “Fire Escape” sets that track on fire. Matt Henkels playing perfectly lays down a hook that acts a wonderful counterpoint to Trifilio’s marvelous vocal melodies. Trifilio is giving the queen of bridges, Taylor Swift, a run for her money here when she sings in this song’s bridge, “My heart is tipping over/Pouring out when you say/Gravity couldn’t sway/Any placе is the place I’ll be/Whеn you’re far away.”It’s absolutely beautifully infectious.
Beach Bunny is a band that has already had their share of successes in their short run so far but with Emotional Creature they reach a high they haven’t hit yet in terms of songwriting and musicianship. It’s wonderful to see them bloom in such a huge way. Forget “Song of the Summer ”, Beach Bunny has made the “Album of the Summer ” and it’s one that I cannot wait to wade into its warming sunshine any chance I can get.
Pre-order Emotional Creature by Beach Bunny HERE
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