As we previously announced, famed local alt rockers Paramore are currently winding down the record cycle (or “era,” as they like to dub it) for last year’s phenomenal fifth album, After Laughter, which, over the past year, has included surprise stops at Exit/In and The End, a headlining outing at The Ryman, and the group’s debut at Bonnaroo, all amidst international tour dates and critical acclaim for their boldest, most personal, and most adventurous LP ever. Before taking a breather and plotting what’s next, however, the band will come home to host Art + Friends, an extra special event Sept. 7 at Municipal Auditorium, meant to highlight Nashville’s wonderful alternative scene, with local art, local venders, and a stacked local musical lineup of COIN, Bully, Canon Blue, Liza Anne, and Nightingail– an excellent sample of some of the amazing music coming out of Nashville right now.
Tickets are still available here, and as we count down the weeks until Art + Friends’ arrival, we wanted to help you prepare by providing a spotlight on each individual performer (who, remember, are all local, and can regularly be seen at more intimate spaces as well). So far, we’ve introduced you to bluesy indie folk singer Nightingail, breakout indie rocker Liza Anne, indie/orchestral pop project Canon Blue. Next up, one of our favorite bands of the past few years, local or otherwise: punk-rooted grunge pop breakouts Bully!
Throughout their earliest shows in 2013, buzzyworthy DIY releases and local domination in 2014, and subsequent signing, major label full-length debut, and well-earned international acclaim in 2015, watching local grunge pop group Bully rightfully ascend to become one of rock’s most important new acts has been an immensely gratifying journey. Led by singer/songwriter/producer Alicia Bognanno, an MTSU grad and former intern of beloved producer Steve Albini, Bully, despite buzzworthy pedigree, have always been, and largely remain, a fiercely organic, self-sufficient unit. Since their earlier 7″ and tape efforts, self-released self-titled EP, and 2015 full-length debut, Feels Like, which landed on more year end lists than we can count, the band have always managed to find a balance between ’90s alt-rock and grunge nostalgia, pop sensibilities, punk attitude, and modern indie flair, cemented by Bognanno’s unparalleled ear for production and biting musical sensibilities.
Rounded out by guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus, Bully are at home performing with legacy and contemporary indie and punk acts, and have quickly become festival favorites, catching attention beyond just media praise, and having their music featured in outlets like television commercials, video games, and late night TV. The group made the jump to esteemed indie label Sub Pop last year, with whom they released their highly-anticipated sophomore effort, Losing, in October. Documenting the complexity of personal growth in an anxious and raw fashion, Bully’s latest is Bognanno’s most confessional and personal work to date, and feels like a more confident and cohesive take on the first record’s template. Road worn from several years of tours, Bully remain a bombastic and powerful live force as well, and with hometown shows now something of a rarity (this marks their first proper Nashville date of the year), their inclusion at Art + Friends is especially exciting.
LISTEN | “Trying”
WATCH | “Running” (Official Music Video)