Built on raw DIY energy, Albany psych-folk duo Bruiser & Bicycle’s sophomore album ‘Woods Come Find Me is a delightfully alternative, fantastically fun time.
‘Woods Come Find Me’ – Bruiser & Bicycle
Bruiser & Bicycle make delightfully weird, fantastically fun alternative music. The DIY duo from update New York have a tendency to defy, or simply ignore traditional song structures and boundaries, making what they want to make, how they want to make it. As such, you never quite know what to expect in a Bruiser & Bicycle song, but as their new album Woods Come Find Me makes clear, you’ll always be in for a good time.
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Woods Come Find Me, Bruiser & Bicycle’s sophomore album (out February 22, 2019 via Five Kill Records). Formed two years ago in Albany, New York, Bruiser & Bicycle has had more than its fair share of lineups: Currently, it exists as the core duo of Nick Whittemore and Keegan Graziane, an eccentric and talented pairing. Self-described as “psych-folk,” Bruiser & Bicycle make the bulk of their music with one acoustic guitar, one electric guitar, two voices, and a limitless world of possibility.
Opener “The Train” introduces us into the DIY band’s world of raw energy. An overdriven electric guitar riffs as the acoustic guitar chugs mightily (and nonstop) through the chord changes. A song quite literally about travel and trains, “The Train” takes off from the station at breakneck speed. It’s a faithful glimpse at the full record to come, but not necessarily a quintessential Bruiser & Bicycle track: That doesn’t really exist.
The somber acoustic guitar-driven lead single “Casper” paints a moody portrait of isolation and doubt: Of innocence lost and a life in crisis mode. Whittemore and Graziane sing in unison:
Walk around the corner
Thinking I’m about to warn
that I’m a chicken in the dark
like everything will fall apart
How could I begin if he don’t even start
He could walk away if I were to depart
Love is like a cake that I,
I wanna throw it in your face
because I wanna be alone
and I think Casper is stoned
Midway-through the track, a heavily-effected electric guitar drowns us in flurries of thirst-quenching sound, before leaving the acoustics to poignantly play out the bittersweet finale. Bruiser & Bicycle’s PR likes to describe them as coming from an “alternate universe where indie rock went in another direction in the mid 2000s,” and the shoe completely fits. They come from the camp of The Dodos and Animal Collective; of mid-’90s Weezer, and all the dynamite DIYs making music that feels as fresh, raw, and fun.
Additional highlights on the album include the raucous stomp of “Woods” and the mystic, cozy warmth of “Coves,” but at its heart, Woods Come Find Me has a little bit for everyone with an ear for adventure. Whether you’re attracted to the heavy drone of “Yonder” or the very literal ups-and-downs of “See Saw,” this is an album that will move you to feel things you did not expect to feel, and to think things you perhaps did not expect to think. It’s passionate, understated, and an overwhelming delight.
Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside Bruiser & Bicycle’s Woods Come Find Me with Atwood Magazine as the band provide their personal take on the music and lyrics of their sophomore album! Woods Come Find Me is out Friday, February 22, 2019 via Five Kill Records.
‘Woods Come Find Me’ – Bruiser & Bicycle
:: Inside Woods Come Find Me ::
I often find myself drawn to specific images without knowing precisely why. The look and sound of a train gives off such indescribable feelings. The sound is distinct and recognisable because its impression is ingrained into our heads at a young age, much like the sounds of animals. Because of this, I think it gets endowed with a certain schema. On one hand, things that are powerful, loud and mechanical feel scary, cold, and uncanny. On the other hand, trains in particular carry a distinct feeling of going somewhere important. The combination has an emotional character that we were seeking to emulate with the guitars; constantly moving, and hopefully overwhelming. – Nick
This song was written months prior to the rest of the album. In some sense, it may come across more like a full fledged “song” than some of the other tracks because it carries remnants of us right before a transition. We weren’t super concerned with making it sonically exploritary, or new. We just wanted to write a song about seeing people lose their innocence, or rather losing your own. Even though its a common theme, even a cliche, it felt relevant. Plus, Casper getting stoned seemed like a funny idea. – Nick
Woods is both the third song that we wrote and the third on the album. We hoped that it would carry the momentum we had built up. This song in particular is important to me because it’s the first song which I wrote lyrics for, and it’s the first time I recorded vocals. The contrast of the energetic start to the ending’s melancholic lull is something I’m proud to have achieved as the emotional conflict resonates with me. – Keegan
When I was young my dad used to take me on hiking trips. Even if it wasn’t deliberate, a lot of the imagery likely sprouted from those memories which led me to associate the taste of sausage links with being out in the wilderness. I spent a lot of time in the peaks and valleys of West Virginia where people would use odd backwoods lingo like “lollygaggin”, and “fixin’ to”; and even though the word “yonder” might not fit into that category, I associated it with the environment. The roads of those mountainous areas twist and turn in the same way the song does. – Nick
Cove had the biggest change in terms of going from the original demo, to the finished product. We used vocal effects, and sounds in our vicinity, as well as other recording techniques to create this enigmatic tone which made it so much different than the demo. The first part was written in hopes to have a sense of comfort and familiarity, however we wanted to keep that uncertain feeling that was present in Yonder. Instead of necessarily focusing on the meaning of the words for Cove, I wanted to focus on the sounds of them. The release at the end of this track is so rewarding, as all the tension created throughout is finally released into what sounds like a celebration, which was the original title of the track. – Keegan
The first half of See Saw was written to sound like an orchestra of guitars. The recording techniques that we used had us so excited. This was the last song that we wrote for the album. The music was written just days before recording, and the lyrics were improvised in the studio. – Nick
This is my favorite track on the album. There’s a sense of adventure when listening to this, and I think the harmonies Nick provided helped carry that along well. When writing this song I wanted to do more vocally than I had on the other tracks. The lyrics on this track were an effort from both of us. The sensation of closure provided was extremely satisfying, and being the final track on the album, it gives a proper send off. – Keegan
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? © Ariel Einbinder art by Nick Whittemore