Students will be on “Cloud 9” on April 10 as American indie-pop artists Beach Bunny and Oceanator take the virtual stage for this semester’s second Binghamton University Underground Music Presents (BUMP) show. Hailing from Chicago, Beach Bunny has been gaining popularity since their debut album “Honeymoon” in 2020 and released their latest EP “Blame Game” in January of this year. Oceanator, a solo artist based in Brooklyn, released her first full-length album in 2020 as well.
Sean McManus, BUMP chair and a junior majoring in Japanese studies, wrote in an email that the virtual show will be a change in pace from the last BUMP show, which featured electronic artists Baths and Fire-Toolz.
“This time around I wanted to change up the vibe from our first show which was more experimental/electronic and go for a rock show,” McManus wrote. “I hope that with the weather getting steadily warmer outside the beachy and warm sounds of Beach Bunny will match that energy and get people dancing safely in their rooms!”
What is now known as Beach Bunny started off as a stage name and solo project for lead singer Lili Trifilio in 2015. It wasn’t until 2017, after Trifilio released her third EP, that the lineup turned into a four-piece group. Shortly after, Beach Bunny released their 2018 EP “Prom Queen,” with tracks like the self-titled track and “Painkiller” becoming popular for their honest and straightforward lyrics. Beach Bunny’s songs have covered topics such as eating disorders, heartbreak, gender expectations and mental illness, all set to catchy guitar riffs and drum beats reminiscent of surf-punk and pop-rock sounds.
On Valentine’s Day in 2020, Beach Bunny released their first album, “Honeymoon” to critical acclaim. The album made appearances on “Best Albums of 2020” lists for Rolling Stone, Consequences of Sound and The New York Times, peaking at number 21 on Billboard’s U.S. Top Alternative Albums chart on Feb. 29, 2020. Similar to “Prom Queen,” songs on “Honeymoon” covered topics of self-image and heartbreak in fast-paced beats, as Trifilio explained that she was going through “a lot of life changes, and also a breakup” and was unsure about her worth in an interview with Rolling Stone. A single from the album, “Cloud 9,” recently became a popular song on TikTok as well.
In their latest EP, “Blame Game,” Beach Bunny took a turn in direction. The four-song extended play had more empowering ballads such as “Good Girls (Don’t Get Used)” and “Nice Guys” while keeping the same energetic sound of past releases. Under The Radar described their sound as an “emotionally charged mix of pop-punk, fuzzy indie rock and hooky power pop.”
Elise Okusami, known on stage as Oceanator, is an indie artist from Brooklyn who released her first album “Things I Never Said” in 2020. She started off in the punk-rock scene in Washington, D.C., playing basement shows and small venues for a thrash-punk band.
In a grunge-pop sound reminiscent of the ’90s, the album deals with imagery of apocalyptic worlds and intense emotions such as anxiety and depression. The album is not entirely heavy, however, as more upbeat and retro songs like “Heartbeat” and “Walk With You” shine through as well. Oceanator recorded most of “Things I Never Said” two years prior, but the songs on it seemed to describe the feelings of desolation and solitude brought forth in 2020 perfectly.
Both female artists sing about intense emotions, although in different styles. McManus wrote that he hopes the BUMP show offers more exposure to their music.
“I’ve been a fan of Beach Bunny for a pretty long time now so being given the opportunity to book them I obviously took it immediately,” McManus wrote. “Oceanator is an artist who has only just put out her debut album but I absolutely adore her and hope people come to love her after seeing her opening set as well!”
The BUMP show will take place on Saturday, April 10 at 8 p.m. on YouTube Live. Attendees must RSVP through a link on the Student Association Programming Board’s (SAPB) Instagram page at least an hour before the show to receive a link to the broadcast.