When I first heard “Bitter”, my initial comment was that “the vocalist sounds like Stevie Nicks” (while our dear Evan Glazman contends that she sounds more like Dolores O’Riordan). Regardless of what comparison you care to make, it’s evident that vocalist Emily Brout’s rich and bluesy voice is a perfect companion to Ludlow Ejacula’s gloomy music. After listening to the other songs in their catalogue, I would even argue that her voice transcends comparison – she effortlessly adapts from breathy murmurings to powerful sustained notes.
“Bitter” certainly carries the weight of its name: with an oft repeated chorus of “You’re useless/You can never be no one”, the song is self-contained and melancholic. The reverb is turned up to a point where the reverberated vocals make their own echoed chorus slowly fading into the distance, particularly poignant at :09 and many other moments during the track. It’s this reverberated chamber that helps the track feel big and significant despite being only comprised of Emily’s multi-track vocals and a guitar – the music is appropriately tagged “minimalism”.
The chilly sonic environment certainly resonates with me, sitting in my childhood home on a grey Christmas Eve, surrounded with remnants and artifacts of my highschool self who would certainly relate to “Bitter”. That’s not to say that Ludlow Ejacula is juvenile – there is a wonderful maturity and timelessness to the music, its aesthetic driven by the echo chamber of melancholy and the rich vocals of Emily Brout.
You can forgo a soda and buy Ludlow Ejacula’s single on bandcamp instead.