Sounds Like: Fuzzed-out, forthright rock where bracingly frank lyrics cut the sugar-spun hooks' sweetness
For Fans of: Tacocat, Waxahatchee, Tiger Trap
Why You Should Pay Attention: In May they released second LP New Kind of Normal, the inaugural release on the agitated pop-punk band's Plum Records, putting the band's road-honed musicianship on full display. Allegra Anka's smoothly melodic basslines and Kelly Olsen's steady drumming provide a fulcrum for the lyrics of guitarist Augusta Koch, which combine radical honesty about managing the anxieties of daily living with dreamy poetry. "Sometimes it's hard to say/When you're just having a rough day/And everything seems so romantic/When there's time and space away," she sings on the album opener "Am I Dead Yet?," which envelops its jitters in clouds of reverb. In early July, the trio will tour with Camp Cope and Worriers; later that month they'll hit the road with fellow Philadelphians Waxahatchee.
They Say: "Putting out our own record was not anything I ever thought we would do – especially not on our second record… We've learned to trust ourselves and each other," says Anka. "When we started the band, everything was on this huge learning curve. There were a lot of firsts involved. Everything that we were doing we were doing for the first time. That was really, really fun, but then as things started to kind of pick up and get more serious, it started to get stressful, and we started getting overwhelmed with some of that stuff. Letting it go was a really good turning point for our band; without doing that, it wouldn't be a sustainable thing. We wanted to make room for the important things, which are our friendships and the music that we make together."
Hear for Yourself: On "Bus Ticket," Koch draws boundaries with a friend (and pays tribute to Nineties emo heroes Braid) over grinding guitars. Maura Johnston