The Bulls is an indie-pop/shoegaze duo from Los Angeles. The band is made up of multi-instrumentalist Anna Bulbrook from the NYC indie band The Airborne Toxic Event, and bassist Marc Sallis from the London indie rock band The Duke Spirit. The two met once in New York, then kept running into each other. In London. In Paris. At Coachella. It’s a familiar tale: they bonded over their mutual love of The Jesus & Mary Chain, Siouxie & The Banshees, The Cure, the new wave movement of the 1980s and the shoegaze movement of the 1990s. Finally, they decided that they should collaborate musically, and they formed a band earlier this year. They’ve been hard at work on their first EP while playing a bunch of live shows. On Tuesday, they released a standalone digital single called “Come Unwound”, which landed in my email box that morning. I’ve been a bit bogged down, and it took me a couple of days to get around to it, but I immediately fell in love.
This is that song:
“Come Unwound” by The Bulls
For the first minute or so, I’m reminded of So Tonight That I Might See-era Mazzy Star. By the end of it, I’m reminded of Split-era Lush. It starts off soft and gentle, but at about 1:37, a sonic wave comes crashing down and at that point, it turns into a tasty shoegazing song. Just before that, though, there’s a vocal bit that I really like:
Don’t make me turn this car around
Hope’s not lost, it’s just unfound
There’s a lot that I really love about this song. Of course there’s the sheer noise in the chorus, the tons of delay on Bulbrook’s vocals, and other things in their bag of tricks. I like Bulbrook’s voice, but I also really love that there’s not any lyrics in the chorus. Just that really delicate “oooooooooh oooooooooooh aaaaaaaaah aaaaaaaah”, and so on. I’m a big sucker for that kind of thing, especially when the singer can go as high as Bulbrook can. Coming out of the big chorus, there’s some of that iconic “Be My Baby” drum bit. It only goes about four times, and then it goes away, but I’m always a fan of a song that uses that kick….kick-kick-snare/tambourine bit.
If this song is any indication of things to come, this band will be one of my new favorites. I’m already excited about the EP, and I have no idea when it’ll be out. Hopefully, they’ll also have an LP sometime in early 2015.