Irish trio Bitch Falcon not only have an eye-catching name but an intoxicating brand of diverse, unconventional post-punky rock that’ll also stick with you. Indeed, it’s a sound that they intriguingly describe to us as “heavy but melodic, aggressive, melancholic wave.”
The Dublin band first started out with vocalist Lizzie Fitzpatrick playing Hole songs on an acoustic guitar in her kitchen with former member Fia Kavanagh. And you have to say, Bitch Falcon is a band name of which Courtney Love herself would be proud of.
Lizzie’s since been joined by a new rhythm section of Barry O’Sullivan (bass) and Nigel Kenny (drums) as the band perfected a sound they like to describe as combining influences from totally different ends of the music spectrum – from Bjork to Deftones.
Expanding on that, Lizzie explained: “I guess I have an urge inside me to express myself through noise; I want to depict that sadness we can all reach. I love to write music that sounds a little odd, or unusual but in keeping with a pop/rock medium.”
The band recently released debut album Staring at Clocks after a long string of singles over the last few years. On the album, Lizzie told us: “Well people have been waiting on it for a long enough time, so maybe a bit of pressure to be good! Expect a heavy bleed of thick melancholia layered with melody, facilitated by a heavy bass and rhythm.”
Our first taste of the band was penultimate track Gaslight, which opens up with stabbing guitars that continue under a cool little bassline then backing vocals. Lizzie’s drawn-out vocals “Gaslight keeping filtered romance at your service, Scroll on needless” take over as the stabbing guitars and meandering bass continue, then stabs of bass.
It drops into a more dreamy section with atmospheric instrumentals before returning into a more intense repeat of the above vocals. Funky high-pitched guitars come in as the track comes to an atmospheric conclusion. Check it out in the video:
And mysterious sounding melancholic rock is the order for much of the album, including the delicious Turn To Gold. It begins with soothing light instrumentals and high-pitched vocals, then gradually picks up pace with a flickering lick under intoxicating vocals. Give it a listen here:
But things do get a bit rockier with a personal favourite track, the excellent Damp Breath. It opens up with a lively stabbing bass and fast-paced, feisty vocals “Keep your full lips firmly above water, Can’t show a bead of sweat, Sit close, damp breath, softly of perfume, I can see through your corn plaster bra.”
That feeds into an engaging chorus “If its any consolation you’re still one of the guys, Good looking, hard working, Any situation you’re still turning me on, A hollow distraction” with the trademark atmospheric instrumentals creeping in, which drop out as Lizzie’s shouty vocals “Eager, play ball, young girl, no prospects, At least I’ve still got tits.”
Second-time around the chorus extends with the variation on the vocals of “If its any consolation you’re still one of the guys, Upstanding, ass licking, Down to sociation I’d have to call you my wife,
Abhorrent, vile slug, Say you won’t play dumb with the boys and get carried away, But if it’s any consolation, you’re still turning me on.”
That drops into a cool little instrumental bridge of stabbing guitars and bass, then layers of vocals feed into a final chorus. Check it out in the video below:
The debut album is packed with delicious, melancholic rock, such as the superb Test Trip, Martyr and most recent single to be released from the album How Did I Know? so we firmly recommend going to give it a spin.
As mentioned above, there are a lot of diverse influences going into the Bitch Falcon sound, but Lizzie tells us the likes of LF Beach House, Cocteau Twins, Protomartyr and My Bloody Valentine inspired her around the time of Staring at Clocks.
And, on writing the album, Lizzie told us: “For me, the biggest challenge is the lyrics. I would be critical of my own lyrics quite often and I wanted to write something expressive that anyone could cling onto. The most enjoyable part is creating those sounds in the studio, or when a song comes together almost instantly, like magic. I love to play with feedback loops between a guitar and its amplifier. In the studio I had a wall of amps that I played noise through for the whole album.”
Bitch Falcon is the first Irish band we’ve featured in a while, so we asked them for their thoughts on the local scene. Lizzie said: “The Irish music scene is great! Very supportive of us, and everyone around us. The scene is small yet wide; there’s so much music happening here in Ireland, and it feels like a big extended family. Everyone is interested in what people are doing, the broad genres influence others to create interesting fusions and in general, well developed writing.”
There’s plenty of music to get stuck into with the excellent Bitch Falcon album and their back catalogue of singles. But if you like what you hear then you can sign up for Bitch Falcon’s first show of what’s been a crazy 2020. They’ll be live streaming an album launch show with Zen Arcade on 27 December and you can join them by getting a ticket here.