Enthusiastically Frustrated: Pretty Bitter Talks about Queer Identity + New Album “Hinges”
June 30, 2022 @ 4:00pm
For many residents in the DMV, this Pride month was a time for embracing the queer community and remaining resilient against the turmoils of the nation.
In the face of trials and tribulations, D.C.’s LGBTQ+ stood firm and embraced who they were through the means of art, cuisine and my personal favorite: music.
And nothing excited me more about unapologetically queer music than the June 24 release of “Hinges,” the latest album by D.C. psych-pop outfit Pretty Bitter.
For a band that considers themselves brooding enough to be bitter, their versatility is incredibly nurturing when it comes to opening up queer spaces and actively using their self-proclaimed melancholy to work through the turmoils of coming out in the pandemic era.
Covid-19 isolation made way for a brunt of introspection for lead vocalist Em Bleker (she/they) and bassist Miri Tyler (she/they), heard throughout the entirety of “Hinges.”
Whether it was Bleker’s deeper understanding of what being queer meant to them or Tyler beginning her journey as a transgender woman, these paralleled journeys into self-actualization are accompanied by the impeccable production of the band’s multi-instrumentalist Zack Be (he/him) and create an aura of hesitant optimism within the album.
“It’s an effort in moving towards joy,” Bleker says.
“We’re a pop band, but not a feel-good pop band,” Tyler adds.
“Hinges” is equally eager yet conscious. A collection of already iconic tracks like “Final Girl” or the lyrical showstopper that is “What Now?”, the band takes hard looks within and acknowledges that their anger can be both cataclysmic and affirming.
It’s a matter of pride versus Pride. With queer identity, are any of us ready to answer the tough questions? No matter how probing and uncomfortable they can be?
With an album like “Hinges,” it’s obvious that Pretty Bitter is ready to start the conversation. Even if it’s a daunting one.
“Hinges” is now available on major online music platforms. Pretty Bitter will celebrate the release of their album with a headline show at Comet Ping Pong on July 1. Get tickets here.
Comet Ping Pong: 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; cometpingpong.com // @cometpingpong
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