For many artists, the two years of pandemic lockdown proved a creatively fertile time, and for veteran queer singer-songwriter and performance artist Bitch, that couldn’t be more true. In an interview with Debra D’Alessandro on WXPN’s Amazon Country, she traced the making of her terrific new album Bitchcraft — released in February on Kill Rock Stars — from the Michigan woods to the studios of Los Angeles, from a sojurn in Provincetown in the ill-fated summer of 2020, and finally in New York City, where Bitch calls home.
“I already knew how to work long distance,” she says of the groundwork that prepared her for the unique collaboration behind Bitchcraft. She shares stories about getting back into the groove with outdoor gigs with John Cameron Mitchell in early COVID times while learning how to safely come together as a community, beginning work with Myrna Johnston and Shelly Jennings at their MJAudio studio in New England, and reconvening in Los Angeles with instrumental and writing collaborators Anne Preven and God-des, Roma Baran, Melissa York, and Faith Soloway.
“It felt really witchy and like I was falling into the arms of my elders,” says Bitch. “It was a real safety net there.”
She also talks about the tour with Indigo Girls that followed Bitchcraft‘s release, and the other artistic expressions she works in, from drawing to theater. Bitch says she’s adapting Bitchcraft as a semi-autobiographical theater piece that weaves together its songs while explaining the origin of her name. “It was part of a feminist revelation I had as a young girl,” she says. “I feel like I was raised subconsciously or consciously to make myself smaller than I am. When I started reading about feminism, I saw what a sham that all is.”
Listen to Bitch’s entire Amazon Country interview below, and check out her colorful new music video for “Pages” from Bitchcraft, set in a day-glo apartment and speaking to our late-pandemic cabin fever. Philly fans can catch Bitch tonight, April 8th, at PhilaMOCA with Sean Barna opening the show; tickets are available here. Her tour continues Saturday in Greenfield, Massachusetts, followed by several dates in New York and D.C. Get Bitch’s full tour itinerary at BitchMusic.com.