Blasted is a breakup album, but not in a sad, self-pitying way. Bitch kicks it off with "Kitchen," layering poppy hooks with "Na-na-nas" reminiscent of the kind of celebratory, clappy style of Matt & Kim and Paul Simon. But Bitch, as her name might suggest, sharpens the poppy filling with dagger-edged observations and bursts of badass rocker growls. On the song's bright breakdown she sings with rebellious good humor, "But my whistle gets so hot, which makes me get all fired up, which makes you want to fuck me, but oh so hard to love me."
You can hear 1970s metal roots on "Open Up," à la Jimi Hendrix on "Kiss the Sky." The title track showcases Bitch's dramatic violin skills, and on "Cats Kills" she fiddles her way through a tribal sounding hillbilly jig that sidetracks into a soulful tribute to "Home on the Range."
Some songs like "Lost You" are completely flat and unmemorable, but mostly Blasted has all the striking, catchy power to enchant fans of Bright Eyes or Tegan and Sara. It's one of my favorite musical discoveries in months. Anyone who crosses sunshine pop with Joan Jett snarling and glam rock riffs is all right by me.
Bitch opens for the Indigo Girls at the University Theatre Wednesday, March 17, at 8 PM. $34.