Heavy Gus - Bo Milli
|Photo - Lauren Jacobson|
California-based trio Heavy Gus have announced their debut album Notions will release on August 5th through BMG Records. Led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Dorota Szuta, the band includes multi-instrumentalist Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers and percussionist Ryan Dobrowski of Blind Pilot. The group also shared their new single “Weird Sad Symbol” along with the accompanying music video directed by maven Ben Fee. The video was shot in one take and shows Szuta singing through a montage of pesky hecklers as she revels in resilience and survival. Under the Radar premiered the video saying, “the track captures the trio’s propulsive energy with rollicking rhythms, infectious guitar parts, and impeccable melodic sensibilities一all of the foundations for great garage rock.”
“I wrote ‘Weird Sad Symbol’ as a joyous departure, while living in a damp garage in Santa Cruz, California,” Szuta told Under The Radar who debuted the video. “It's a song about living in chaos and just rolling with it. It's the second track off our debut album, Notions, which we're excited to announce will be released August 5th!”
Heavy Gus emerged last year with the psychedelic-tinged “Do We Have to Talk?”, a track about the intimacy in words unspoken and reaching out for the comfort of a physical connection. Earlier this year, they shared the long-distance-love-song “Dinner For Breakfast,” a droning, bittersweet, reverb-drenched reflection on longing and separation that ultimately finds a reason to hold on in even the darkest of moments.
The band took shape during the pandemic when songwriting couple Uvlang and Szuta (a marine scientist who also has a background in music playing with Laura Gibson and Gill Landry) took a socially distanced road trip to Nashville — picking up Dobrowski in Colorado along the way — to record at The Creative Workshop. The resulting collection of songs blur the lines between grungy garage band fare, hazy desert surf, and dreamy, sun-soaked indie rock. Their debut offering calls to mind everything from Meat Puppets and The Breeders to Yo La Tengo and Acetone in its artful balance of hope and fatalism, loneliness and desire, strength and vulnerability. And while all three bandmates came to Heavy Gus from very different worlds, they fit together like puzzle pieces here, bound by the kind of love and trust that can only grow from years of deep kinship. Notions was engineered and mixed by Parker Cason (Margo Price, All Them Witches, Coin) and mastered by Pete Lyman (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile).
Bergen, Norway based artist Bo Milli shares the video for debut track "At The Wheel". The latest signing to MADE Management (Sigrid, AURORA), "At The Wheel" was co-produced by Odd Martin Skålnes (Sigrid, Sløtface, AURORA).
With a predisposition to self-criticise and a talent for turning that into art, Bo Milli is an essential new voice in music. Through her diaristic lyrics, the super smart environmentalist writes hook after hook as she navigates her inner conflict. And indeed, in putting her own life into words, she has unknowingly narrated our collective existential angst. “Writing music is an emotional outlet, but it’s also a puzzle,” she says, reflecting on her craft. “Sentences come to me and I try to make the pieces fit together. And if just for a moment my music is a good thing in someone’s life, then I will take any opportunity to play it.”
Debut track “At The Wheel” is a Soccer Mommy-adjacent song about becoming an adult and suddenly finding yourself responsible for not just your own destiny but the future of the planet. “It’s embarrassingly earnest,” she says of the track, in which she questions “who’s at the wheel these days?” from a bed of idiosyncratic lyrics and melodies. “It’s about how the small things feel big, and how you try to relate to the big things but the everyday stuff takes up so much real estate. There are these flashes of ‘oh fuck!’ but then you’re like… ‘wait, where’re my keys?’” The feeling of powerlessness though, is all-too relatable.
Commenting on the track's accompanying video, Bo Milli said: "The video reflects the everyday-feel of the lyrics, leaning into the literal: I sing I'm waiting for the bus having a cigarette, there I am at the bus-stop doing just that. We wanted to capture the theme of aimlessness. I’m waiting for a bus that never comes, sitting in the backseat of a car that never arrives anywhere, and who’s driving anyways?"