Bnny Explores Love, Loss, and Desire on Their Sophomore LP, One Million Love Songs [Album Review]

Olive Soki

The first time I came across Bnny I had just listened to “Crazy, Baby,” one of the four singles released leading up to their recent LP. A stormy crescendo of a song, “Crazy, Baby” gave me every reason to believe that the full project from which it had been extracted would be right up my alley. However, nothing could have prepared me for the experience and emotions revealed in One Million Love Songs.

Lined with thematic notes of hope, teeth baring desire, wander (and of all things) love, One Million Love Songs, sees, lead singer-songwriter, Jessica Viscius keenly explore the emotions that make our inner worlds go round. The urges, obsessions, and memories, big or small, that have the ability to brighten or darken our skies.  

The opener, which starts off on a subtle note, captures the bliss experienced in the first stages of love that seemingly disrupts the fabric of time. Throughout the song, Viscius sings quite serenely, “Time is a strange thing/Window open and I can hear the birds sing” eventually conceding a rather sobering thought in the last verse “When I'm with you I almost forget/ That he's missing,” This notion of the past affecting the present is tackled head on later on in the record (“Something Blue” and “Rainbow”).  Still treading through romantic memoriam, “Good Stuff” looks back on the “firsts” that mark the early days of romance. Dedicated to the big love and good stuff that brought light to her life, “Good Stuff” is an anthemic ode to the super cuts that make up our happy places.

Reaching beyond loud and passionate declarations, One Million Love Songs, cedes room to the tender and revealing bits of our most meaningful relationships. Any big love involves a degree of visibility. Referred to as the desire to have “a witness to our lives” by Susan Sarandon’s character in the 2009 movie Shall We Dance? And again as a want to be understood and deciphered, as Clarice Lispector puts it in her novel  An Apprenticeship or the Book of Pleasures. This desire to know and to be known deeply is revealed in tracks like “Crazy, Baby” and “Sweet.” The latter, a gentle waltz, opens with the following lyrics, “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done. Now ask me cause I need to tell someone.” Ever-willing to share the dynamic corners of her mind (“Crazy, Baby”) as well as  her vulnerable under-belly (Don’t you want to get to know me?/ I’m so kind./ I'm only lying half the time”), Jessica sharply illustrates the truly beautiful and humbling aspects of desire.

Backdropped by stormy and atmospheric arrangements, and at times dissonant melodies, Bnny’s One Million Love songs is an absolute treat of an indie rock record that is merely bound to expand and flourish with time.

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