Carla Bozulich enters her fourth decade of uncompromising, unceasing devotion to art-punk ethics and creativity with Quieter, an intensely emotive, diversely experimental and enchantingly cohesive collection of previously orphaned and one-off tracks: a couple left over from the bountifully productive sessions from her brilliant and widely-acclaimed 2014 album Boy; others featuring collaborations with the likes of Marc Ribot, Sarah Lipstate (Noveller), Freddy Ruppert, Shahzad Ismaily and more. Quieter is the result of this ceaselessly nomadic and defiantly DIY art-punk legend having settled back in Los Angeles for a spell, recovering from tour-inflicted ear (and back) damage, sifting through unreleased/unfinished material, and being drawn to working on the quieter stuff (relatively speaking) in her abundant archives. Ranging from the searching, searing opener "Let It Roll" - "he most honest work I've ever done" says Carla - to the chiming, deconstructed lullabies of "Glass House" (composed by Ruppert) and "Sha Sha" (from her mid-2000s project The Night Porter) and the album's sultry closing track "End Of The World"(a duet with Marc Ribot, who penned the song), Quieter is a brilliant addition to Bouzlich's impressively diverse, adventurous, and unwaveringly authentic body of work.
Carla Bozulich, an art-punk heroine with almost three decades of exceptional, iconoclastic musical activity under her belt, returns with the third record of her storied career to be issued in her own name. Boy is Carla's self-proclaimed "pop record" and is a refreshing and much-needed reminder of what pop can mean in the hands of a ferociously commanding singer/lyricist who has cut her teeth on genre-bending, genre-blending, and DIY production for 25 years. Boy is unmistakably a pop-influenced album by way of punk, avant rock and lo/mid-fi; a batch of ten songs that clock in at 3-5 minutes each, mostly hewing to recognizable structures of verse, chorus and bridge, but full of destabilizing accents and strategies. The songs are replete with hooks and melodies, delivered chiefly by the singing itself, with the underlying instrumentation and arrangements always in the service of Carla's voice and lyrics.
Boy is without doubt the sharpest, supplest, most satisfying and most generous album that Bozulich has made in recent years, and also happens to be one of her most immediately accessible. It is a definitive expression â€“ and should serve as a welcome reminder â€“ of Bozulich's unique tastes, talents and trajectories.