Ugly Bunny is a super synthy, sun-kissed electro-pop duo from Sacramento, California. Its members are 17 year old vocalist/keyboardist Gwendolyn Giles and 16 year old producer/vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Camryn Nichols. (Yes, they’re still in high school.) The two formed their musical partnership during the summer of 2012 after Gwendolyn had just returned home from touring Europe with her punk rock band Dog Party, who are already three albums and multiple tours into their career. Although the two had both grown up listening to classic rock and punk, they decided they should experiment with pop when they set out writing songs for Ugly Bunny. To prepare, they indulged in large doses of the Eurythmics, Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode. The next thing they knew, they had an album’s worth of songs and No Doubt’s former booking agent Jerry Perry was booking them various gigs, including an opening spot for L.A.’s Night Club, whose music has been getting a lot of attention recently thanks to being featured on MTV and other prime time networks. More recently, they found management in the form of Cortney DeAugustine, who is especially known for his work as a drummer for Michael Lee Firkins as well as Moon Dog Mane and the Frank Hannon band.
The duo began production on their debut album, Tokyo, in March of this year. Their first single, “Compromise & Sacrifice,” was released in June and it’s one of the most rocking electro-pop tunes to come along in quite some time with its propulsive and insistent beat that repeatedly goes BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM in a most delightful manner. That infectious beat, combined with a healthy dose of glimmering synth and glittery guitars, makes for a sweet, candied song that electro-pop fiends will be sure to add to their summer 2013 playlists. “It hurts to know I couldn’t stop you from walking right out / But I know you’ll be happy with her / Hopefully she’ll make things better,” Gwendolyn sings, her voice processed to a point that makes it sound like Siri doing karaoke, which makes it mesh with the electro-trimmings on hand perfectly. Normally, when vocals are processed to this point, I’m not crazy about them, but Gwendolyn’s voice still sounds human underneath it all and is rather emotive at that, beaming with passionate longing.
Their second single, “Tokyo,” was released on August 26th and packs quite the vigorous beat, a veritable banger (and thumper) of a song. Here, the beats are more complex and there are layers of intoxicating sounds — including some gorgeous synth — that lull you right in and cast a web of electronic bliss right over you. And, yes, it’s quite a sticky web at that. But, fear not, you won’t mind getting stuck in it. In fact, you’ll rather enjoy it. Also, FYI, Camryn sings this one and he does a fine job of it. The funny thing is that I thought the same person was singing both songs the first dozen times I listened to them. It was only after I asked their publicist if Camryn was male or female that I found out that one sings one song and the other sings the other. Guess that’s what happens when vocals are super processed. Cool though.
Gwendolyn and Camryn are currently seeking funding for the release of their album Tokyo via indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ugly-bunny-s-debut-album-tokyo-fundraiser. They’re hoping to release the album in early December of this year.
link to Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/UGLY-BUNNY/182352605231433
link to SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/uglybunny-2