Bullpup – Thoughts and Prayers (2021)

Bullpup walk a tightrope with their latest single ‘Thoughts and Prayers’. With their usual theatre-emo flair, the band take an introspective look at the ecological and political parallels of a dying planet. While trying to chase away apathy toward the manifesto style lyrics, they balance between rallying listeners to make a change and accepting defeat. All of this nuance is wrapped around their infectious sound that belts and shreds through your senses.

This wonderful balancing act of rallying and defeat comes from Brian Bisson, Trevor Sullivan, Tim Collins, Robby Beland and Jon Garniss. Bisson, Sullivan, Collin and Garniss came together to create an emo band inspired by musical theatre but felt that something was missing from their live shows. This is when they turned to childhood friend Beland to complete their sound and they have been merging familiar tropes with aggressive instrumentation ever since.

‘Thoughts and Prayers’ strums into your ears with a foot-tapping rhythm. The layers of the melody bring the nuances of the track to life from the first moment. You can hear a rallying energy coming together in the low levels of the melody but when it bursts out it is tinged with a sad desperation. It is a powerful arrangement that makes you want to rally behind the band while washing this urge with a sense of futility. This is a very heady feeling that perfectly captures how many people feel about the current political and ecological situation. As the song progresses, the melody gets a more aggressive edge that pushes against you to rise on the rather epic guitar riff.

As the melody fills you with some conflicting emotions, the lyrics ask some hard questions and really thinking about the world we live in. Through the verses, you are confronted with some serious thought-provoking lyrics that are smoothly unleashed by Sullivan’s vocals. The punch of the chorus is catchy and fills you with the energy to stand against the negatives in the world. Before that guitar riff hits later in the track, the vocals belt out their aggression and really let loose in the best possible way.

With a melody that is both rallying and defeated, Bullpup have you standing up for what you believe while teetering close to apathy in ‘Thoughts and Prayers’. There is an amazing layering of emotions in the melody that culminates in a rather heady feeling. This is picked up by the vocals for an aggressive push that is tempered by the grasping tendrils of apathy.

Find out more about Bullpup on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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