Behavior ~ Bitter Bitter
'Bitter Bitter' was written and recorded in Los Angeles early last fall, just before the latest drought broke, and just before a cynical national election made the ongoing arrangement very plain. It’s a simple music, crafted according to a shifting ad hoc agreement between three friends who try and share the labor, who borrow promiscuously from whatever finds them, who try and garner enough space to intuit a next stumbling move in restless hopscotch across a pop music tradition that has tallied an unliveable inheritance of promises.
There’s a desire for tension, a desire for fraudulent postures, a desire for drama and its perverse digressions. The song is traversed by other songs, the voice is traversed by other voices, the singer never held the title to their own tongue—nosing uninvited into darkened houses for what’s ripe and fermenting.
The title of the record is a translation of the name given to the ocean on a Babylonian map thought to be the oldest depiction of the world. The cover is a mask of swatches. A shroud of ribbons. Bitter Bitter is an imprint and an agitation, wrapped like a circus in an exterminator’s tent. Countless fluttering images hoisted like flags above countless shrinking islands in a rising sea. Contempt, mercy, grief and good will. Is it a timely attitude?