Raleigh band BRUXES strive to capture the tensity and disquiet that is implied by their name— bruxing is the clenching and grinding of teeth. Armed with unwavering cynicism and a guitar, singer Rachel Hirsh channels her daily fight with mental illness into brutally honest self-examination. Surrounded by shimmering atmospherics from keyboardist Curtis Armstead and guitarist John Booker, Hirsh’s silvery vocals do not belie her acerbic lyrics. The haunting, lonesome lap steel playing of Danny Johnson is supported by the R&B-influenced rhythm section of Aslan Freeman, switching between synthesized and stringed bass, and drummer Griffin Wade.
These longtime friends and musical collaborators entered the studio in the spring of 2016 to create BRUXES after sharing stages for years as members of I Was Totally Destroying It, Unifier, Jack The Radio, and Lila - among other North Carolina indie rock mainstays. Boys Will Be Boys is the result of this creative partnership - a 5-song EP released by Cardigan Records on November 18, 2016. With 80s post-punk, gothic, and new wave influences mingling with modern soul and R&B rhythms, and Hirsh's lyrical themes of living with bipolar disorder, isolation, alienation, self-hatred, and failed relationships - the sound of BRUXES is dark, serpentine and evolving - yet oddly comforting and lush.
Though the songs are inspired by disorder, BRUXES manages to harness the chaos and create a singular, cohesive sound.