Bnny preps debut album, discusses the inspirations behind it (listen to “Sure”)
Chicago-based band Bnny -- led by Jess Viscius alongside her twin sister Alexa Viscius, as well as Tim Makowski, Matt Pelkey, and Adam Schubert -- make dreamy, hushed, and lightly twangy guitar pop with Jess' whispery, emotive vocals and great songs at the center. “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.”
Bnny's debut album, Everything, will be out August 20 via Fire Talk and they've just shared standout "Sure," a loping waltz time ballad. “‘Sure’ is about love and its loss,” says Jess. “‘Sure’ is about apathy and denial. It’s about disillusionment in the wake of death. It’s about finding strength and meaning in the steadfastness of nature.” You can watch the video for the song below.
We asked Jess to tell us a little more about the inspirations behind the album and she sent us a list of 10 things, from country music to gardening to the power of reverb and silence. Check that out, including Jess' commentary, below.
JESS VISCIUS' TOP INSPIRATIONS FOR BNNY'S DEBUT ALBUM 'EVERYTHING'
This album was written during a period in my life when I found it difficult to listen to music. Music made me too emotional, too vulnerable. It brought up feelings I wasn’t ready to confront. Silence felt safer. This album unintentionally became a practice in finding inspiration elsewhere.
Observing springtime’s first tulips is an affirmation of life. Gardening teaches patience and persistence. Witnessing the resilience of a perennial unaffected by Chicago’s soul-crushing winter is enviable. Gardening helped me find connections in life and death, which was the central journey of this album.
When I find myself on rhymezone.com in the wee hours of the night, it’s a sure sign that the song i’m working on has lost its edge. No magic has ever come from googling “words that rhyme with love.”
Whiskey & tap water:
As someone who is often their own worst critic, this cocktail of convenience aided in writing songs without judgement, while maintaining some level of hydration.
Like Harlan Howard said country music is “three chords and the truth”.” The songs on this album are simple, imperfect, and honest.
Not being able to live in the present:
My therapist says people who spend too much time thinking about the past are depressed and people who spend too much time thinking about the future are anxious. Throughout this album I consistently vacillated between the two.
Do I hate my voice or does it just sound better this way?
Sense of smell:
Nothing moves me to write a song like sitting in my bedroom at an open window with my guitar and picking up on scent that feels like a lost memory.
My twin sister, bassist in Bnny, photographer extraordinaire, decisive critic, biggest supporter, best friend, most influential person in my life! Her patience and love helped make this album a reality.
Last year at the Natural History Museum in Chicago, I remember reading a sign that said that there are zillions of stars in outer space. What does that even mean? I try to picture what a zillion stars looks like but it’s impossible. Space serves as a reminder of how mysterious, maddening and magical the unknown is.