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Song premiere: The Bulls spread 'Rumors' and Anna Bulbrook's haunting vocals

Song premiere: The Bulls spread 'Rumors' and Anna Bulbrook's haunting vocals
The Bulls will release their debut EP, "Small Problems," on Aug. 28. "Rumors" is the third track to be released by the band. (Juan Azulay)

Anna Bulbrook, the multi-instrumentalist known in the indie scene as the violinist of The Airborne Toxic Event, describes the four tracks of shoegaze rock on her new EP as “songwriting by any means necessary.”

Bulbrook and guitarist Marc Sallis, bassist of The Duke Spirit, formed The Bulls after working on Bulbrook’s early attempts at songwriting. As Bulbrook discovered the force behind her lower-register vocals and bombastic, shimmering guitar chords, Sallis helped her fine-tune the four tracks of the band’s debut record, “Small Problems EP,” which will be released on Aug. 28.

To preview The Times’ upcoming feature on The Bulls and their August residency at The Satellite, “Pop & Hiss” is premiering the second track of the EP, “Rumors.” We spoke to Bulbrook about the track, which juxtaposes her haunting vocals with Sallis’ bright guitar lick and danceable drums.

Bulbrook said she wrote the backbone of the song in a New Mexico hotel room in two hours, with the single refrain — “Is the rumor true?” — over the song’s bass line. Crafting a story from experiences of a friend, Bulbrook’s lyrics analyze the quotidian behaviors of a suspicious partner, pining for an honest answer.

“Every song comes from something real,” Bulbrook said. “Either I see it happen to someone else or I feel it happen to me. I’ll shamelessly borrow from other elements of my own reality or elements of other people’s realities and stitch together a story that feels like the world.”

The Bulls’ will perform three more nights of their Satellite residency each of the remaining Mondays in August.

The Satellite, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles.

Follow @bthornbostel on Twitter for breaking music news. 

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