REVIEW: Queen of Jeans Record Release at Underground Arts



By Arthi Selvan

If falling in love seems hard, then falling in love with four people on the same night seems impossible, yet watching Queen of Jeans perform at Underground Arts for their record release show on March 31 felt like gaining a handful of new crushes. Their album, Dig Yourself, follows the story of a romance, either with someone else or with yourself, and has a ‘60s school dance, first love feeling to it. Dig Yourself is just as much about a romance with someone else as it is having a relationship with yourself. As the band states, Dig Yourself has two meanings -- it means to love yourself and all that entails but it also means to move past the surface layers of yourself and analyze what’s underneath.

Falling in love with a band that can shred on stage is not a hard feat to accomplish. The three founding members of Queen of Jeans, Miriam Devora, Mathson Glass, and Nina Scotto had all played in other bands but each were made into an accessory and told to hold a tambourine in the back of the band. This misogyny still follows them as they all left their previous acts to form the formidable band they’re in now with drummer Patrick Wall.

The band says that the misogyny they feel as a band comprised of women is something they use to “ignite a new, more assertive energy that has only [continued] to empower [them].” Unlike their previous arrangements, all their talents are prioritized in this band. It is evident that each member holds significance to the music being produced. This shows through with their choice of having backup vocals. Devora, the lead vocalist, may sing most of the lyrics but the harmony vocalists, sung by guitarist Glass and bassist Scotto, bring the band and album an airy, ethereal feel which is reminiscent of 60’s pop bands.

The nod to 60’s girl groups is satirized by the backup vocals, roles primarily held by only women while the instruments and lead vocals were played and sung by men. Backup vocals once started as a subpar misogynistic role, but Queen of Jeans uses them as forefront of their music.

As a romance progresses, there are the natural highs and lows of the relationship which are tracked in this album as well. The album starts with the upbeat single “More to Love”, released at the end of January, which notes the beginning of the relationship. The melody is buoyant, similar to when you first fall in love. The fourth track on “Dig Yourself” is one of the slower songs on the album. Stripped of the bass guitar and drums, Devora’s heart-rendering voice sings with Glass and Scotto, “you are never alone with me, you say / You’ll never be alone with me / you can try, you can try, but you won’t succeed / you’ll never be alone with me.” A soft tempo song that is less sorrowful and more similar to a more familial or platonic love, one that seems everlasting. The song is backgrounded by the sounds of waves crashing on a beach.

It is followed on the album by a single released a month before Dig Yourself’s debut, “U R My Guy” which embodies 60’s girl groups, without the misogynistic part. While the lead singer proclaims “you are my guy”, the harmony singers softly carol “he’s so fragile when he belongs to me” flipping the sexist stereotypes usually put forward by all male bands singing love songs.

This indie-pop harmonic quartet proves they are a band that needs to be paid attention to through their killer live sets. With only an EP out, their musical abilities earned them a spot in WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival, Made in America, and SXSW and helped them win a full US tour with Balance & Composure and From Indian Lakes. It is no secret why they have been gaining such popularity before their debut album even released. Watching Glass shred during “Sick Day” during the record release show felt transcendent. Instead of her hitting every single note, it was like her and the guitar were playing and riffing off each other. The second to last song of their set, all the members except for the front person put down their instruments and left the stage, leaving Devora some time to express her gratitude to the audience but also to her family.

She dedicated the next song, “You’re Never Alone” to her supportive family and started strumming on her guitar as Glass and Scotto came to join her on stage with only their vocals. Together, they serenaded us with the same emotion that went into writing the song. Unadulterated by most instruments, the band felt raw and honest with utmost sophistication.

Queen of Jeans’ debut album feels like the coming of age story for this dreamy quartet from South Philly. Their full album was released on the March 30th everywhere through Topshelf Records.

Stream Queen of Jeans Dig Yourself below:


TOUR DATES

w/ Pianos Become Teeth, The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid To Die
4/27 - Raleigh, NC @ Imurj
4/28 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
4/29 - Orlando, FL @ The Social
5/1 - Austin, TX @ Barracuda
5/2 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
5/4 - Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
5/5 - Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg
5/6 - San Francisco, CA @ Slims
5/8 - Portland, OR @ Holocene
5/9 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
5/11 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
5/12 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
5/13 - Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
5/14 - Nashville, TN @ Exit/In

w/ Oso Oso
6/29 - Amityville, NY @ Amityville Music Hall
6/30 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Park Brewery
7/1 - Washington, D.C. @ Songbyrd
7/2 - Cleveland, OH @ Mahall's
7/3 - Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome
7/5 - St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
7/6 - Springfield, MO @ Outland Bar

w/ Citizen, Oso Oso, and Teenage Wrist
7/7 - Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St
7/8 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
7/9 - San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
7/11 - Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
7/12 - San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
7/13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Sound & Fury Festival
7/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Lodge
7/15 - Berkely, CA @ Cornerstone
7/16 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Atrium
7/18 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne
7/19 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
7/21 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
7/22 - Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
7/23 - Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
7/24 - Dekalb, IL @ House Cafe


REVIEW: Kississippi's 'Easier To Love' Vocalizes Strength, Change and Vulnerability


K.PNG

kississippi
'easier to love'

Sunset Blush available April 6th.

MEGAN THOMPSON


by Arthi Selvan

Kississippi’s new single, ‘Easier To Love,’ makes you want to twirl around a sunlit apartment, spring breeze coming through the windows, wearing the outfit that makes you feel like the hottest person in the room, and hanging out with just yourself and your cat. The catchy lyrics have me singing along with the front-person, Zoe Reynolds, “Up to now I’ve given all I got / You can always keep it if you want / I’ll make myself easier to love” while reminiscing on all the relationships I’ve been in where I’ve been told that I am hard to love.

In conjunction with their December release of the single “Cut Yr Teeth”, these singles feel more grown up than their 2015 EP We Have No Future, We’re All Doomed. While the softness of this Philadelphia-based band is still apparent in this new single from their new album, Sunset Blush, which will drop on April 6th, there’s an ever-feeling presence of refinement.

The parts that helped this band score an opening spot on Dashboard Confessional’s US tour hold true: strong vocals, poignant lyrics, solid drum beats, melodic guitar riffs, and rhythmic bass lines, but all cultivated into one powerful single about celebrating independence and careful vulnerability.

The single starts off with cool synth overtones and brings in elements that allow Reynolds’ voice to sound more unadulterated. The climax of the song takes a pause before the crescendo of head-banging drums and reappearance of room-filling vocals. This gives this single, and hopefully the new album, a more sophisticated feel, like they have graduated from the dreamy lo-fi punk to the powerhouse pop punk that is about to take over music.

Catch Kississippi on tour with Dashboard Confessional and Beach Slang below:

3/26 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
3/27 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
3/29 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
3/30 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
3/31 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore Silver Spring
4/02 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony
4/03 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
4/04 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
4/05 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall
4/06 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
4/07 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
4/08 – Lawrence, KS @ The Granada Theatre
4/09 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
4/13 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
4/14 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
4/16 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
4/17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
4/18 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
4/20 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blue
4/21 – Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Palladium