Over three previous albums, Evangelista, fronted by songwriter Carla Bozulich, has made music that is difficult to classify. Using everything from guitars and drums to purposely constructed atmospheres, improvisation, cabaret music, and virtually any medium that will fit a particular composition, Evangelista has frustrated and delighted critics and fans alike. On In Animal Tongue, they take this to an extreme by creating an album of angular, visceral compositions and minimal elements that create expansive textures and atmospheres.
While Carla Bozulich may have left behind punk songwriting years ago, she remains true to punk’s spirit. More than any of her albums under the Evangelista moniker, In Animal Tongue shows how devotees of punk and charismatic religion share a hunt for raw, ‘authentic’ experience. Here, Bozulich continues the quest for authenticity — in her words: “real versus fake!!!” — in nine tracks that showcase her talent for welding fragility to strength.
Through all her varied disguises, from the Geraldine Fibbers to Ethyl Meatplow and back, Carla Bozulich's barbed voice has always been an instantly recognizable instrument. With her versatile project Evangelista, she seems at last to have found its ideal vehicle. In Animal Tongue is the latest album under the Evangelista name, and hearing it can feel like watching a veteran character actress with an expertise for perfecting new accents finally sink her teeth into a meaty, recurring role.
Los Angeles-based songwriter Carla Bozulich has had a mighty long career, spanning roughly 30 years in the alternative country and experimental music scenes. She might be best known as the lead singer and lyricist for the mid-‘90s cowpunk band the Geraldine Fibbers, which boasted the talents of current Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. She was also a founding member of the industrial band Ethyl Meatplow.
In 1887, the author and social reformer Charlotte Perkins Gilman was ordered to retire to bed for nine weeks as a 'rest cure' for the depression she'd suffered following the birth of her daughter. Forbidden to do so much as roll over, Gilman channelled her horrific experience into the writing of a short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. A blistering whorl of confusion and psychosis, it takes the form of the journal of a similarly bed-bound woman who becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper covering the room to which she's confined.