“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is packed with dayglo neon audacity and big tunes of absolute tenacity. She first grabbed attention round the lapels as one half of the queer folk duo Bitch and Animal who went onto tour with Ani DiFranco (a big fav from back in the days working on MTV Europe Alternative Nation). Going solo as Bitch from the mid-90s, she’s shared the stage with the Indigo Girls, acted in the film “Shortbus”, co-wrote a song with Margaret Cho, produced two albums by hero Ferron, and had her music score “The L Word”.

Out on next Friday 4th Feb, the new album “Bitchcraft” on Velvet Sheep’s label of the year last year, the Pacific NW riot grrrl/punk mainstays Kill Rock Stars has been 8 years in the making, and spanning significant socio-political change in that time (to say the least right?) it’s as big and bolshy as you’d hope but with nuance aplenty and a cast including Anne Preven (Beyonce, Madonna, Demi Lovato), God-des, and Roma Baran (Laurie Anderson) and co-written tunes with gay punk icon Melissa York (Team Dresch, The Butchies) plus Faith Soloway (Transparent). The music is as free and mighty like The Runaways, perky and flighty like Cyndi Lauper and there’s even a Celtic witchery akin to The Cranberries and obviously X-Ray Spex in pure up yours-ness. Not to mention Dexy’s exuberance and sardonic spike of Pissed Jeans. Plus it transpires her parents were born this side of the pond too. What’s not to love? Impossible to ignore, we’re certainly chuffed to welcome to VS, the surefiredly ace Bitch!

Here’s a righteous call to arms “You’re The Man”, it’s like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” meets Mickey’s “Fantasia”…

How could you fail to be enthralled with such a smorgasm-bord of violins, synths, percussive pulses and witticisms. I have to admit that Bitch first came on my radar with her gay marriage made in heaven of a cover “Standing In The Way of Control” with the equally brilliant Logan Lynn as part of last year’s 30th anniversary series of covers on KRS, but I was instantly swayed with its bombastic sophisticated boom boom.

And if I only I had hair I too would be sporting a pencil as modelled on the album cover (it’s the 21st century equivalent of the working class pencil behind the ear!).

Intriguing as an artist, my high expectations of Bitch’s choice of tune for this series were also matched, so without further ado, here’s Bitch’s “song for ewe”…

“I chose Iva Bittova’s “Morning Song”

Someone gave me a tape of Iva Bittova back in the 90s when I had first moved to NY and was just starting my first band, Bitch and Animal.

I worked at a coffeeshop on 2nd Ave, and one of my customers knew I was a violinist and doing this experimental music with a drummer, and they made me a tape of Bittova to check out. My mind was blown. I felt like I had met a soul sister.

The way she was so unafraid to be atonal, wild, how she vocalizes with her violin, all of it. She remains a huge influence on me. In “morning song” i love the simplicity of the video, and how she uses the organic sound of the alarm to create a musical line and tell a story. I have listened to her for years, have never known what her lyrics are literally, but feel them/her music deep in my gut.”

Here’s another slice of Bitch goodness – “Easy Target”…

and the “Cherry Bomb”-esque explosion of “Hello, Meadow!” with tent dress creation to boot.

THANKS TO BITCH AND TO RACHEL ALVES AT SILVER PR

New album, Bitchcraft out February 4, 2022 on Kill Rock Stars

here’s all the requisite links

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PHOTO BY DANA LYNN PLEASANT