Sync Licensing:

Formed in 2012 out of a long-time friendship that singer/guitarist Becca Ryskalczyk, drummer Jonathan Gernhart and bassist Patrick Ronayne forged through nights spent at the Brooklyn DIY venue Shea Stadium, Bethlehem Steel released their first LP, Party Naked Forever in 2017. Which was praised by outlets like NPR, The FADER and Stereogum.. After their first LP Ryskalczyk was seeking a second guitar player but found much more in Christina Puerto. A close bond quickly formed between the pair, and that relationship has brought forth a new chapter for the band, with Ryskalczyk and Puerto’s collaborative energy providing the animating force behind their self-titled sophomore album – a release that serves as a guide, of sorts, for those reaching towards self-empowerment, and an illustration of the transformative power of female friendship as a force in overcoming trauma. The bulk of Bethlehem Steel is a stark look at toxic relationships and their effect on mental health, and its songs derive power from their unflinching approach to difficult topics. The pulsing, string-abetted “Couches,” which simmers for over half its runtime before exploding into a tangle of lead guitar parts, is a cutting appraisal of the worst parts of a suddenly absent family member, while the almost entirely spoken word track “Not Lotion” is a cathartic and rawly emotive expression of anger in the face of restrictive societal expectations. The single “Gov’t Cheese,” which is centered around Ryskalczk’s repetition of the mantra “I must take care of myself,” confronts a history of complicated friendships with men, with Ryskalczk and Puerto’s surprisingly sweet vocal harmonies belying the song’s frank reckoning with the vulnerabilities that are preyed upon in many of these negative relationships.