RSD Spotlight: Julie Ruin Single Has Kathleen Hanna Looking on the Bright Side

The Julie Ruin, “Brightside”/“In the Picture”

Riot Grrl progenitor Kathleen Hanna’s battle with patriarchy has been a matter of public record since Bikini Kill’s heyday in the early ’90s. Quietly, however, the rocker has faced another battle: a series of medical complications due to Lyme disease. Confronting her diagnosis, Hanna wondered if she’d ever be able to record or tour again, but medical treatment and a true punk spirit rejuvenated the artist to record Run Fast, the 2013 LP from her new project The Julie Ruin.

Mixing feminist politics, shouty vocals, and a penchant for synth squiggles, The Julie Ruin is the perfect middle ground between her punkier past and her later project Le Tigre’s dance-focused electro-rock. Eight songs from that Run Fast session didn’t end up making the cut on the album. “They didn’t fit in with that collection of songs for whatever reason. We were trying to figure out what to do with them, and Record Store Day seemed like a good way to release our favorites on a nice little 7-inch,” drummer Carmine Corvelli says.

The band is releasing a 2,000-copy run of the single that features two songs from that collection of outtakes—something Corvelli is looking forward to since he didn’t think some of the songs would ever see the light of day. “The A side is this song called ‘Brightside.’ It’s funny because every time we listen to it, we’re like, ‘Yeah, why didn’t this make it on Run Fast ?’ We all love the song, and it has a really upbeat tempo. Kathleen wrote the lyrics about overcoming health issues, anything trying to keep you down, and looking on the bright side of things.”

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