Millennials far and wide, let me introduce you (formally) to Bis. The Glasgow, Scotland indie-pop trio that was active from 1994-2003 and has reformed in 2009 to the present. What’s their deal? Why should we “have a moment…” for them? I’ll tell you why…
Long-story-short, it’s a theory of mine that people seem to be “borrowing” a lot of themes, sonic ideas, and aesthetic pieces from Bis either without knowing it or with blatant intention to do so. Now, in our post-modern culture this is neither “shocking” nor cause for concern. However, I do feel it’s necessary to explain how they’ve influenced me as an artist and expose you to their music while possibly shedding light on a movement already in progress.
As mentioned in the title, you might remember one of their songs:
Ah yes, the wonderful end theme of the this classic Cartoon Network late-90’s/early millenium staple. This song, surprisingly, gives you a pretty legitimate starting point for what their sound basically is. It’s very cartoony and catchy, but still on the cusp of something pop and kind of non-conformist as well. Snotty and unapologetic. Another great example is there song “Action and Drama”
This shows a little more of their fun-but-biting spirit with an upbeat and child-like instrumental but thought provoking and satirical lyrics.
Can we also have a short moment for this period of fashion? Like, seriously:
Her highlights are KILLING ME!
Anyway, back to the music.
After hearing those tracks, you can start to hear that pop sensibility coupled with a punk lens coming into play. So understandably, it became a trend from the mid-90’s on till now with little to no objections with “who started it” and “who does it best.” In the 2010’s, you hear artists like Charli XCX, Grimes, MØ, and almost any British punk/indie-rock band try to replicate this sound and approach. Now, though this isn’t a particularly “new” idea and it’s not exclusive to Bis, it should be noted that this was a band that had exposure through television on a very popular show on a very popular network. I know I couldn’t have been the only person that after singing that song ENDLESSLY for days didn’t say “Wow, I have to find out who sings that song!” So, next time you watch the Powerpuff Girls, and you hear the outro theme, don’t forget Bis.
As a matter of fact, I’ll leave you with my favorite song from them:
You can listen to their discography on Spotify including their newest albums “Data Panik Etcetera” and “Return to Central.”
What do you think of these jams? Do they make you think of childhood goodness? Teen angst? Dark euro-disco clubs? Let me know in the comments and share on social media!
By Trent Lira