Bitch celebrates 2019 with new single

The latest single from Bitch, “New Year” is a dance epic of purpose and power and pure explosive joy. With her soulful vitality and do-or-die intensity, the LA-based singer/producer transforms her sharp-eyed commentary into a wildly cathartic anthem. And though it’s a sonic departure from her work in the alt-folk duo Bitch and Animal, “New Year” unfolds with the same electrifying presence Bitch has always brought to her music—an irrepressible energy that makes the track feel immediately essential.

“‘New Year’ is about empowerment,” says Bitch. “It’s about claiming who you are, and letting go of patterns that no longer serve you.” With its brightly repeated refrain of “I’m the woman,” “New Year” also continues Bitch’s longtime mission of disrupting gendered language. “So much of our language is built on empowering men, and part of my life’s work has been to make sure we’re also empowering women,” she says. To that end, Bitch sees “I’m the woman” as an alternative to “I’m the man,” a declaration of strength and autonomy and all-around indomitability.

Like many of Bitch’s songs, “New Year” started out as a poem. “It was New Year’s Eve and I was doing this ritual of writing down all the things I wanted to let go of,” she says. “I was ripping the pages out and throwing them into the fire, and that led to the first stanza: this idea of wanting to forgive everything that’s harmed me.” Sparked by a bassline banged out on her keytar in a log cabin in Northern Michigan, “New Year” eventually took shape with pounding rhythms and massive piano riffs, urgent beats and indelible melody.

For Bitch, “New Year” marks the start of a new chapter in a life long guided by musical passion. Originally from Pittsburgh, she began playing violin at age four and later took up bass, ukulele, and keytar, steadily carving out her own singular path as an artist. “Because I had that classical training from such a young age, it was a big shift to go from playing from my eyeballs (reading music) to playing from my heart (writing music),” she says, listing the Muppets, her Mother’s tap-dancing school run from the basement, and Cyndi Lauper among her early inspirations. (“When I was 11 I wrote to Cyndi Lauper to ask her if she would give me one of her skirts,” she recalls.) In addition to releasing three Bitch and Animal albums (including two on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records), she put out a solo album via Kill Rock Stars, three on her own imprint (Short Story Records), and also starred as herself in Shortbus (the 2006 feature film from Hedwig and the Angry Inch’s John Cameron Mitchell).

With more music to come from Bitch in 2019, “New Year” is accompanied by a poignant yet playful video featuring broom-centric choreography from LA-based dance artist Megan Fowler-Hurst. Along with driving home Bitch’s themes of self-liberation and solidarity, the “New Year” video embodies the unfettered spirit at the heart of the song. “To me it’s very much a celebration,” she says. It’s about taking stock of what the world has done to us and what we’ve bought into, and then plunging forward into the new year with a new sense of boldness —like, ‘Here I fucking am.’”

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