“Falcon Bitch and Gumball are best friends. The Texas-based multi-instrumentalists love to make up elaborate tales of their first meeting: as chimney sweeps in the mid-1700s, as shoemakers in Middle England, as competing acrobats in a traveling circus. It’s a testament to their ever-playful attitude—one that pours over into their project, Being Dead, in which the band toes the line between jest and sincerity. The nurturing foundation of these platonic soulmates urges both Falcon Bitch and Gumball to be their full, freaky selves, prodding at the absurdity of the world with slick n’ dreamy strums, gritty percussion, and kaleidoscopic harmonies.
New album When Horses Would Run propels us into vivid landscapes: desert planes, dirty basements, lush rolling hills. Being Dead is here to create worlds, grabbing our hand and hauling us outside of ourselves, where we can soak in stories of carefree shoplifters, wayward cowboys, and the final moments of a lonely Buffalo on the range. The album doesn’t linger in one place for too long––instead, it dances alongside the periphery, flickering between Super-8 memories and moments. “Our music is really a slice of our friendship,” says Falcon Bitch. “We’ve lived together and we’re always together and I feel like it’s a palpable thing.”
Being Dead’s previous releases garnered acclaim for their ability to mimic the band’s renowned live shows. Merging surf rock, freak pop, and frantic punk, Falcon Bitch and Gumball’s eclectic influences and energetic pull swells on When Horses Would Run, charting the band’s progression within Austin’s iconic music scene. They began writing what would eventually become the album back in 2017. Falcon Bitch likens it to a kind of collage of Being Dead so far. “This is definitely a collection of songs from different versions of ourselves,” she says.
Touching on themes of God and what it means to be “good” or “evil,” Being Dead has given the band a chance to explore their upbringings and their obsessions. “I grew up in the church and Gumball didn’t but we’re really obsessed with organized religion,” F. Bitch explains. Despite her disdain regarding her upbringing, When Horses Would Run is proof that if we search for the beauty between the cracks––and we don’t take ourselves too seriously––there is joy to be found everywhere.
Opener “Great American Picnic” gallops in with a rush of Western rhythms and chanting vocals, cementing the album as a kind of slap-in-the-face call-to-arms; Being Dead is a band that grabs by the scruff of the neck. On “Last Living Buffalo,” they prod at the casualties of America’s insatiable greed, lamenting a tragic lullaby for the last animal left. “The Buffalo doesn’t know we’re sad for him,” Falcon Bitch says, highlighting the song’s lesson in living for the present moment.
Stand-out track “Muriel’s Big Day Off” showcases Being Dead’s creative process, where instincts and gut reactions are favored over second-guessing or laborious technicalities. The song tells of a character called Muriel and her best friend Friedrick, who spend their day doing exactly what they want: stomping around town, drinking tea, and shoplifting. It was inspired by Falcon Bitch and Gumball’s acid trip, where––after drinking wine on their porch and “having a really nice time with a tree”––they returned home, enamored with the patterns of their fingers on the guitar rather than the way the chords actually sounded. The result incorporates elements of jazz, with animated piano runs and driving melodies, alongside the band’s tongue-in-cheek lyricism.
“Oklahoma Nova Scotia” closes the album, and points to Being Dead’s lo-fi leanings. It was the one song recorded to tape and despite trying to later cut it in the studio, the band decided to stick with the more organic approach. “For a lot of these songs, we only knew how to play them live and we weren’t sure what kind of form they were going to take,” Falcon Bitch says.
This spontaneous, gung-ho approach marks a refreshing originality in Being Dead. When Horses Would Run celebrates the nourishing merriment of friendship, the importance of enjoying the here and now, and creating simply for the hell of it. Here we have a reminder that we can not only move through the burdens of our past, but we can have company––and fun––while doing it.“
This is the bio about the album written on the Bandcamp page.
This album got a lot of attention online and even Pitchfork wrote about it, so I guess there is no need to persuade you to listen to it. I always have weird feelings when sharing on this blog artists that are already getting a lot of coverage on other platforms. I just prefer to share smaller artists that should have been heard but they are not.
Either way, listen to this album because it is really a great one, but also check other posts on our website because that artist deserves more attention from you.
I asked the band our 3 questions and receive weird responses. I was not sure if I should even share them, but whatever. Here they are:
What inspired you to start making music and what keeps you making music?
Money, money, money… and gold! We live in a gold standard age, don’t you see that??? All around you: silver, silver, silver, but that ain’t gold, baby. Green is bills though, 1 hundo to be Ben frank. But really, we are in it for the money 100% ! — We’re literally writing this from our yacht 🙂
What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?
Money, honey! We all want it and no one seems to have enough for us. Aaaaand fake bitches**. But most of all: quicksand. We-just-cant-seem-to-figure-out-what-is-regular-ol’-slow-moving-sand-and-what-is-really-fast-sand-that-sinks-when-you-struggle.
What would you dream to do if anything was possible?
Big castle and zero body odor.
You can get the album on the physical media.