Bnny

Everything

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Everything Review

by Marcy Donelson

Everything is the debut album of Bnny (formerly Bunny), an indie rock outfit built around the personal songwriting of Chicago's Jess Viscius. While working as an art director, she first took up songwriting when someone left a guitar at her apartment. Over the course of several years, working with minimal chords, she penned songs inspired by a challenging relationship, then about processing the death of her partner. Examples of each are gathered on the 14-track Everything, which was recorded as a five-piece that includes Viscius' twin sister, Alexa (Glyders), and produced by Dehd's Jason Balla. Featuring a distinctly intimate, shadowy, surf-infused sound, Everything may be dimly lit and occasionally grief-stricken, but it avoids being persistently maudlin. First-half tracks like "Promises" and "Take That Back" border on catchy retro-rock, and the latter song teases more than complains when it claims, "You only haunt me when you're down" and "I only want you when you're not around." The album opens, however, with the traumatized "Ambulance," a slow, haunted prelude that has Viscius closing her eyes whenever she sees an ambulance ("If I can't see, then no one dies"). That song's whispery vocals -- a trait of the whole album -- are especially subdued. More laid-back songs, like "Sure" and "Blind," fall in the sad-and-sexy territory of Cowboy Junkies' "Sweet Jane" (Bnny cites the Velvet Underground as a primary influence), while the downcast "Not Even You" laments how memories are a poor substitution for the real thing, and the soporific "Little Flower," with its brushed-snare accompaniment, dwells on death and rebirth. Everything is bookended by the also-devastating "Voice Memo," which leaves listeners with a couple-harmonized early song sketch.

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