WRITTEN BY: Samantha Sullivan
Beatrice is your dream girl. The collaboration between LA-based artists Worn-Tin and BOYO the 80’s inspired music video creates a pretty distraction from complicated feelings. Seemingly straight from the b-roll of Freaks and Geeks, the pastel tones and high-school gym picture day setting feels like a teenage haze. Skating over lyrics like “I don’t wanna see the life that you find” as everything from girls with bloody noses and smeared mascara and a boy lighting up a cigarette cruise through the foreground. While the photos might not make the yearbook “Beatrice” with her sparkly barrettes and eye-rolls will leave a lasting image.
The light of the sun on your face after what feels like forever “Petty Crime” is the moment the darkness starts to slip. The second single from their upcoming album Either Light out March 13, the Vundaboys whip through Boston in a Mercedes. Sporting $2 hair gel and oversized suits they engage in a series of Tony Soprano-esque antics. Building up over warm guitar tones and bright percussion as Hagans voice quavers and quips. Stuck in liminal spaces as they swim laps in the pool, run on the treadmill, and dance around The Roadway Inn, it’s a moment of transition. On the verge of a breakthrough, it’s ecstatic and optimistic.
It’s been said that you are your own worst enemy, and on “Differently” The Bralettes take that title pretty seriously. With their bubble-gum punk faltering in the face of repeated mistakes defeated angst takes its place. Another track fit for a coming of age film they express the inner turmoil of trying to change. Lamenting “I messed up once then messed up twice/I just mess up my whole life,” it’s the exhaustion that comes with being the punchline to the same joke every time.
Though it’s unlikely you can live in a song LaLa LaLa and Grapetooth will have you crossing your fingers with their collaboration “Valentine/Fantasy Movie.” The gushy gooey infatuation that makes your knees weak “Fantasy Movie” sounds like it was written by Aphrodite herself. The synths swell and sparkle as Lillie West asks “can you tell me what it’s like/when you walk in a room/all eyes turn to you.” Slightly surreal “Valentine” makes you believe true love is some sort of everyday magic. Dazzling as their voices drift in and out, the 7” will make you feel like you took one of Cupid’s arrows straight through the heart.
Head barely above water “Lake Song” finds itself dangerously close to slipping under. The third single from their album Auto-Pain out March 27, the track is another attempt to cope with the suicide of their late guitarist Mike Clawson. A desperate plea to make the pain of mental illness tangible, lead singer Nic Gohl begs “I just want you to feel sick.” Struggling through shadowy synthesizers and a beat constructed on a drum machine there’s a sinking sort of hopelessness. Intended to be an inverse to Soma from Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” the pill seems to have worked as they lay on the bathroom floor contemplating the point of life.
A stolen glimpse through the pearly gates “Velour and Velcro” will make anyone a believer. A musing on the impermanence of happiness singer-guitarist Rob Grote describes it as “the elusive nature of bliss and how even when you’ve caught it you know it may be fleeting.” Blind faith in something that can be taken as quickly as it’s received the track is joyful and anthemic as Grote professes “I believe in heaven/I have seen its truth/the way you push and pull me in your bed.” Disappearing as quickly as they come it’s those rare flashes of euphoria that will keep you convinced that true happiness exists.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect soundtrack to scrawl obscenities on your ex’s mirror in lipstick and smash something expensive “Good Bad Times” has you covered. Dancing through the frustration of distance, time, and lackluster communication Hinds doesn’t let the strain of failing relationships get them down. Leaning straight into the power-pop teased on “Riding Solo,” the pounding percussion and bilingual lyrics once again show the girls calling all their own shots. Fed up with the constant back and forth the credits start to roll as singer-guitarist Carlotta Cosials taunts “maybe I’m no longer as nice as I seem.”
The type of all-out infatuation that makes you drive through the night “Twin Bed” has Spendtime Palace smitten. Known for dodging bullets and tearing off into a cloud of dust the wild westerns have become lovestruck sweethearts. Released on Valentine’s Day the track is absolute excitement, sheer awe over someone’s existence, and brimming with that antsy “I can’t take another second without seeing you” energy. Stuck in that phase where you feel like the memories are too good to be true it’s the surreal feeling of having someone under your skin and stuck in your head.
A leather jacket and shades on despite the darkness lead singer/guitarist Pablo Sotelo is pushing 80 on The 5 in the video for “Schemin.” Slightly sinister the track has a switchblade beat and tough guy temperament. A rough edge rarely revealed the song swelters with unparalleled intensity as Sotelo spits “here’s the fee/time to pay/nothings free.” Slinking and swaggering it’s a half-thought out punch thrown in the heat of the moment.