Review: Bulbrook Channels Bowie on New Bulls’ Single “Prudence”

Posted: January 14, 2016 in A Little Less Profound
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The Bulls: Prudence

By Glen

In the wake of his passing, David Bowie has been heralded by many as perhaps the single most influential musician of our time. Perhaps it’s only fitting, then, that the release of the latest single by The Bulls (Anna Bulbrook, Marc Sallis) just happens to coincide with the legend’s exit, taking its place as the freshest entry on the seemingly endless list of Bowie-inspired works.

“I was just starting to figure out my voice by aping different male vocalists whom I loved,” says Bulbrook of her band’s latest effort, “Prudence.” “Believe it or not, this was written when I was singing along to David Bowie every day, listening to his voice and trying to channel the smallest scrap of his spirit. Turns out he is, was, and always will be a thousand percent inimitable. At least by me.”

While the Thin White Duke provided vocal guidance, Bulbrook looked closer to home for a lyrical spark. She found it in the form of a close friend.

“This song is about a real person named Prudence whom I love dearly and who always seems to be running both towards and away from the finer things in life at the same time,” she says.

“Prudence” would feel right at home on last fall’s dreamy Small Problems EP. Churning along on a hypnotic bassline underscoring Bulbrook’s clipped, to-the-point vocals, the song opens up into an airy chorus that melodically mirrors the care-free life sought by its protagonist.

The flip side is a cover of the Supergrass hit, “Alright.” The Bulls’ rendition finds the tempo turned down a notch, lending an unexpected gravitas to the experience. Those who are suckers for Bulbrook’s viola won’t be disappointed, as a whiny-in-a-good-way guitar line dissolves into the classically-trained musician’s more refined strings. The entire track has a weightier, more substantive feel than the sunny original, which should appeal to fans of The Bulls’ somber pop.

As we continue to await The Bulls’ in-progress debut album, “Prudence” and “Alright” give good cause for confidence that our patience will be repaid in full.

Purchase “Prudence” and “Alright” on iTunes

GlenGlen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.


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