Bonnie Trash is the drone-rock project of Canadian-Italian twin sisters Emmalia and Sarafina Bortolon-Vettor. Today they have announced details of their debut album, ‘Malocchio’, to be released on October 28th via Hand Drawn Dracula, and have shared new single “Have You Seen Her”
‘Malocchio’ unspools a real-life horror story based on the stories told to them by their Italian grandmother. Over heavy, hypnotic riffs, pounding drums and spooky soundscapes, the lyrics pull the listener into the meaning of the “evil eye,” a hex of malice onto another.
Speaking on today’s new single – the shadowy and foreboding “Have You Seen Her” – the band comment: “The music video plays out like a sci-fi involving an alternate dimension/timeline. Using the same idea of the malocchio that haunted our nonna decades ago, what does it look like when conjured by generations later in the future, and can this generational haunting finish once and for all? We see two siblings confront the malocchio head-on, only for it to follow once more. The curse has become a part of them. Do not be afraid.
Have You Seen Her is also about the tragic loss of a loved one, longing to be with them, and wondering where they’ve ended up – above the clouds? Below the earth? A new (to us) dimension? Death is the only thing we know to be true in this world. Precious memories here are what we hold onto. When our loves are taken from us by what may be a curse, it’s only natural that we want to find a way to reverse it, and reunite with them in harmony.”
Sonically, ‘Malocchio’ connects the threads between metal, post-punk, shoegaze and gothic rock, with Emmalia’s guitar work recalling the likes of Black Sabbath, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine. Singer/drummer/lyricist Sarafina’s voice leaps out of the mix with a commanding presence, summoning hints of PJ Harvey or Siouxsie & the Banshees.
Combined with these influences, the duo’s unique approach to their lyrical content really puts them in a school of their own. Inspired by communication theory, social commentary, horror, and ancestral folklore, the sisters approach their songwriting as a conceptual research project into their own family heritage. As second-generation Italian-Canadians, the Bortolon-Vettors became fascinated by the stories told by their Nonna and the connections between Treviso in Northern Italy and their hometown of Guelph, Ontario.
The album begins with the voice of Nonna Maria, their 93-year-old maternal grandmother whose life story inspired the creation of ‘Malocchio’. The crackly recording of an interview with Maria, accompanied by an apocalyptic drone, sets the tone of doom to come. After emigrating to Canada in the late ‘50s and starting a family, Maria must move back to Italy after the death of her father-in-law. Maria’s family is cursed and haunted by the early deaths of those who purportedly received the evil eye long ago. Maria experiences life-threatening omens and supernatural experiences, signifying a need to return to Canada before the curse takes her family.
This chilling work builds on the reputation for thought-provoking horror-rock established with their 2017 debut EP, ‘Ezzelini’s Dead’. That six-song collection was based on the myth of Ezzelino III da Romano, a cruel medieval tyrant from their family’s hometown, San Zenone degli Ezzelini — who was reputedly a cannibal.
‘Malocchio’ was co-produced by the band and Josh Korody (Vallens, Fucked Up, Nailbiter, Breeze, Beliefs) at his studio, Candle Recording in Toronto. COVID slowed down the planned recording schedule, but the additional time gave the duo a chance to strip down the sound to its fundamentals and dig deeper into their “apocalyptic emotional doom” aesthetic, as Korody pegged it. In the fall of 2020, Korody sent three mixes to his label boss, James Mejia, which piqued his interest, and with ‘Malocchio’, Bonnie Trash joins the roster of esteemed Canadian indie label, Hand Drawn Dracula.
‘Malocchio’ track list:
2. Have You Seen Her – Official video
3. Silence Is A Killer
4. Teeth – Official video
5. Lashes on Fire
6. Goodnight My Dear
7. Perfect Moment (A Beautiful Reunion)
8. Out At Sea