Rich Girls is an NYC art rock/indie rock/post-punk trio who say they’re influenced by Iggy Pop, The Beach Boys, and The Motels. While I can hear some of what makes people call them post-punk, they’re a little brighter and shinier than that. This sounds more to me like the Toronto indie rock scene of the mid-Aughts. This reminds me of what might happen if you mashed up the brilliance of In Our Bedroom After the War-era Stars and the magnificent Knives Don’t Have Your Back (2006) by Emily Haines. It’s dark and dingy but it’s simultaneously bright and beautiful. It’s blood, sweat, and beer under blindingly bright lights. And speaking of Toronto, there are times that this band reminds me of the shoegaze revival darlings Alvvays.
Although the band has been around since 2013, they have just put out their debut album Black City last week via the Bay-area label Tricycle Records. After frontwoman Louisa Black’s previous band The Blacks split up, she moved from San Francisco to London and wrote a bunch of “dark pop” songs that eventually became Black City). She wrote and recorded everything herself on a laptop with minimal gear and the Garageband platform. As the story goes, she recorded and released some demos, then moved back to California where she recruited a full band overnight. The release of Black City has been a long time coming, but it’s a beautiful record. I had never heard of the band until I got something in the mail bag recently, and I was knocked out right from the drop.
While I really like the whole album, today’s song is certainly one of my favourites.
“Blood Brother” by Rich Girls
Right away, the guitars are affected with tons of reverb, the drums are big and crisp, and the vocals have just the right amount of delay. Black’s voice oscillates between airy in the verses and heavy in the bridges. There’s a lot that I like about this song and the entire album, but I think my favourite thing is right there at the end. All of the music comes to a full stop while the last strains of Black’s vocals are soaked in reverb/delay. It’s sort of a trick out of the mid-90s indie rock producer’s playbook. As everybody knows, I can’t get enough of that.
You can buy Black City in digital format via Bandcamp here.