Less than a year has passed since Naomi Baguley spotted Ben Lewis wearing a Perfect Pussy t-shirt in a Leeds nightclub and they began trading song ideas through phone voice memos. A first batch of ramshackle demos recorded in Lewis’ bedroom soon led to a sold-out debut show at Leeds’ Oporto, before Bruising began hosting a series of cult house parties in Hyde Park living rooms with the likes of Waxahatchee, Twin Peaks and Trust Fund. Word soon got out, and praise started coming in from the most unlikely of places – Andrew W.K, for instance and, in true fairy-tale style, Perfect Pussy’s own Meredith Graves.
Off the back of two stand-out contributions to our own Vol. 3 and Art Is Hard’s Family Portrait Pt. II earlier this year, Bruising return with their debut single ‘Emo Friends’, with a re-recording of early demo ‘Honey’ making up the AA single. Now split between Berlin and Leeds as Baguley begins a year studying abroad, the band reconvened at Suburban Home Studios in Leeds to record the single with Hookworms’ MJ.
‘Emo Friends’ deals with the pains of helplessly watching both your own and your friends’ lives falling apart, and all that you can do to combat it is to have fun with them. Infectious guitar melodies contrast with Baguley’s softly layered cries of “I want to feel okay” before the song climaxes, in Lewis’ tongue-firmly-in-cheek words, “like the big smoocher hit at the end of an American teen movie circa 1999”. ‘Honey’, on the other hand, is a re-recording of the first song the duo wrote together, transformed from bedroom demo to straight up pop-punk hit. Baguley and Lewis try and out-do each other throughout, with floating vocals and ever-more venomous guitar lines thrown back and forth.
*Bruising will join Los Campesinos! on tour with a full band this November