Bitter’s Kiss is a New Jersey based duo. A family band, it features Chole Baker on vocals. Her father has played a role in helping Chole find her beautiful voice and self expression, bringing out the light and beauty we hear in their latest LP “Bitter’s Kiss”, released March 31st of this year. Their music is indie pop, folk, with simple yet delicate songwriting. There’s something that reminds me of Florence and The Machine. It’s not that her voice is as powerful, but in some way her music is quite expansive in the same way. There’s an existential and religious-esque quality which feels like everything is being sung in a church, for the church, yet somehow mostly for the “sinners”. There’s a beautiful darkness that’s enticing and relatable. And still there is also an innocence. Heard in her music is Phox Noble Heart, Esme Patterson, Feist, and Cat Power – music that’s as catchy as it is introspective, at least that’s the aim.
“The Rope”, is the single off the LP. Beautiful and thought provoking, it is sung in a way that makes you wonder and ponder life and past decisions. “Who are you trying to impress when you pray?”. It’s a great line that sets the tone for the entire song. Such deep thought and emotion can be heard in the lyrics of the song. There are many questions, yet no answers found. This is just as life can feel, like one epic mystery.
Gabriel Garcia writes “Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry.” This quote reminds me of the third song on the album “Love Won’t Make You Cry”. In theory, I love the message of this song. It tells the vast ways in which love doesn’t let us down or destroy us, that it doesn’t bring pain or sorrow with it. I’ve heard this concept before, especially from the bible in 1 Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” If I’m being honest, I feel a much more mixed and complex idea of love, one that does at times hurt people and cause misfortune. We are often caught between the choice of loving ourselves and others. The needs of ourselves and others often conflict and in order to love one we must sacrifice the needs of another. On a level I too agree love is perfect. But only in it’s own way. If “Love Wont Make You Cry”, beckons me to think in this way, it’s accomplished much. Bravo.
“No One Will” is a beautiful song. It showed me that her music has a bitter sweet essence to it and that the title of the band fits the music. It’s sweet but it’s skeptical and sad, bitter and longing. Bitter’s Kiss sings, “No one will ever call me, and no one will ever need me, and no one will ever love me at all. No one will ever hurt me, and no one will ever desert, and no one will ever leave me.” I love this notion. When we don’t take risks we stay safe, we don’t get hurt as easily, are better protected, but we also don’t live and take the chances that always make us grow and evolve and become better people. When we get our heart broken it’s so easy to go back in the shell and shun off the pain that inevitably comes along with loving someone.