Home Read Now Hear This: Alaska Reid | Big Bunny

Now Hear This: Alaska Reid | Big Bunny

I'm getting caught up on the good albums that have come out lately. Like this one.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Known for her critically acclaimed band Alyeska, Alaska Reid is stepping out on her own with the Big Bunny EP, a collection of short stories in songs.

Alaska Reid comes by way of Park County, Montana, an enclave for writers, artists and ranchers of the American West. She went to a one-room schoolhouse, attended voice lessons from the only music teacher in town, singing in musty, brown shag carpet basement, bars and in the dirt rink for the Livingston RoundUp Rodeo. In her teens she partially moved to Los Angeles, playing every shit-hole on the Sunset Strip trying to be an Americana singer-songwriter.

Reid began spending more and more time in Los Angeles come late-teens. From 14-18 she began gigging around L.A. Eventually, during her time in Los Angeles — after becoming fatigued by the way she was seen as a young girl singer-songwriter — Alaska began to lean into her obsession with loud guitars and fuzz (thanks to her favorite band Dinosaur Jr.). She formed a band project, cold-messaged John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile, etc…) on Facebook and ended up releasing an album produced by him entitled Crush. It was the final album recorded at the legendary studio The Magic Shop, following a lineage including David Bowie’s Blackstar, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, plus Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Blondie and beyond.

Reid and her band borrowed her parent’s minivan and toured around the West while playing the usual L.A. haunts trying to be grunge. She soon thereafter disbanded her project, feeling restricted and misunderstood as she wrote all the material herself and felt that people were not focusing on her lyrics.

Big Bunny tells the story of her life growing up in Montana chasing rabbits, singing in local bars and rodeos — and her partial move to Los Angeles, playing the scene as a teenager and grappling with a sense of displacement between the two places that feel like home. Her music also comes from different worlds — a little Joni Mitchell meets Dinosaur Jr. and Paul Westerberg, the singer-songwriter joins poignant lyricism with fuzzed-out alternate tunings, merging organic and electronic elements to create captivating stories of her and her sisters (like in her Oblivion video, directed by actress/artist Lilliya Scarlett Reid) & other young women characters.

Despite all her experience, Alaska’s journey is just beginning: “I’ve been scuttling around the scene since I was 14, first as an Americana/country chick and then as a band chick, and now I’m arriving at a more unfiltered self. Some of these songs have grown up with me. I’m excited to release them because the lyrics mean something to me, but also because it has been a long time in the works. It’s a diary of my life.”