Beach Bunny Unleashes a Spectacular ‘Emotional Creature’ With Sophomore Album

Photo: Zachary Hertzman

Since the announcement of their sophomore album, Emotional Creature, fans of the Chicago indie-pop band Beach Bunny have been waiting on the edge of their seats for the highly anticipated release. The record follows a string of killer singles, including "Oxygen," "Fire Escape," "Karaoke," "Entropy," and "Weeds," and sees guitarist and lead singer Lili Triflio, drummer Jon Alvarado, guitarist Matt Henkels, and bassist Anthony Vaccaro at the top of their game. Emotional Creature, produced by Sean O'Keefe, soars to new heights of magnetic energy and dives to new depths of unguarded vulnerability, further cementing Trifilio's well-earned reputation as a leading voice of her generation. 

Of the album, Trifilio says, "Emotional Creature is, at its center, an album about allowing oneself to feel the full spectrum of human emotions, to let go of the shame associated with having big feelings, and to be more kind to yourself. We are all humans enduring a lifetime of experiences - I wanted this album to be authentically vulnerable and not only cover topics that cause big emotions to arise but to address the shame that many, including myself, carry with respect to what we choose to express as acceptable emotions and what emotions are deemed inappropriate. It can be quite suffocating for me to not allow myself to process and feel and this album in a way gave me permission to feel everything I was suppressing for a long time."

The album dives right into a sea of vulnerability on the intro track "Entropy." The summery anthem opens with "I'll get over it if you let me breathe / From the skin, 'cause my lungs tend to keep it within," planting the seed of a story about love, loss, healing, and growth. This respiratory storytelling motif bleeds into the next song, "Oxygen," with its dreamy sonics and emotional lyrics that punch you right in the heart, especially lines like, "With you, I breathe / Baby again, you're my oxygen." "Deadweight" is an addictive two-and-a-half-minute rollercoaster with winding vocal melodies and an everybody-shout-along chorus: "Don't wanna let go / But I can't stay this way." In "Gone," a track that exudes a bit of Paramore inspiration, she's "tired of waiting on a telephone call" before proclaiming, "If you're gonna string things out, just let me go.

A third of the way through, the album takes a breezy and melancholic turn, or at least more melancholic than what we've heard, with "Eventually." "Took a deep breath from the chest, but shallow execution," Trifilio sings as she openly talks about dealing with anxiety, sharing "picked through the cracks in my mind, trying to find a solution." The record then transitions into the twangy, high-energy song "Fire Escape." The previously released single is full of evocative songwriting wrapped in power chords, crashing percussion, and confessional vocals. This confessional singing style seeps into the punchy single "Weeds," which further examines Trifilio's journey towards self-worth with its catchy guitar riffs and cadence before transitioning into the spacy instrumentals of "Gravity."

The album's last third starts with the experimental, synth-embellished ballad "Scream." The somber song is one of the longer ones on EC, sitting at just over four minutes and culminating into a distant and anguish-filled shriek before transitioning into the interlude-y and equally existential "Infinity Room." Listeners then experience the whimsical breath of fresh "Karaoke." The endearing song has heart-melting lines that try to navigate feelings of infatuation and the early stage of a crush. Lines like, "I learn all the words to your daydreams like I'm trying to sing karaoke," are sung over sun-drenched guitars and playful percussion sections that evoke feelings of pure giddiness. Finally, the album's heavenly, almost six-minute finale "Love Song" ushers in a big-hearted cinematic crescendo the record has been building towards for eleven tracks. It's a charming ending to an album that anyone who identifies as an emotional creature will treasure.

Emotional Creature is a bold and self-assured record that crystallizes the optimism and angst of youth in its 12 concise tracks. The 37-minute body of work sketches a character bursting with feelings and an open heart plagued with stubborn self-doubt and an uncertain mind, experiencing everything from panic attacks, personal growth, secrets, shame, confusion, frustration, infatuation, and inhales.

Listen to Emotional Creature below:

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