Hailie Hay is a singer/songwriter turned electric rock n’ roll kid from Concord, CA. In late 2018, after a solo tour of the East Coast and the South, Hailie contacted her friends to back her up at a show in Berkeley, CA, playing the songs she’d written and performed previously. Her long-time friends, guitarist Michael J. Kirk and drummer Levi Matthews, had a week and a half’s notice, but accepted anyway. The night of the show, they became Forrest– adopting the name Hailie would have been given had she been born a boy.
After releasing their first EP, Temper, they adopted the name Great Bitter Lake, after a harrowing story of sailors trapped near the Suez Canal in the 1970s. The sailors were trapped in the Great Bitter Lake, which is a salty body of water outside of the Suez. Instead of letting the boats disintegrate in the brine, the shipping companies in charge of them decided to staff them and keep them maintained for however long the canal was closed. Instead of being at ends with each other due to their many differences, the international sailors decided to form a coalition, the Great Bitter Lake Association; they actually became great friends.
Great Bitter Lake is an indie-rock band from San Francisco, CA, and they seek to embody that togetherness– with songs that start as a hum, and end in fireworks. GBL’s sound, sometimes true indie and sometimes leaning toward classic rock, has drawn comparisons to P.S. Eliot, Julien Baker, Brand New, and the Cranberries, offering transcendent resonance and vulnerable honesty with an electric backbone.