Allison Crutchfield and the Fizz
Allison Crutchfield has been writing and performing over the years, most notably in her co-founding projects Swearin’ and P.S. Eliot. Lately she’s been part of the Waxahatchee live band and self-released the Lean In To It EP, but 2017 will see the release of her first proper full-length. More specifics on Allison’s LP coming later this year.
For now, you catch Allison Crutchfield and her band the Fizz on the road this October with several west coast dates supporting The Julie Ruin.
Vagabon, the moniker for multi-instrumentalist, Lætitia Tamko, was born in late 2014 during her final years of engineering school. Currently living in New York City via Cameroon, Tamko’s cultural duality and engineering background informs her inspirations as a musician and a producer. Blending elements of west and east African music from her childhood with punk as well as electronic leaning instrumentation, Vagabon songs vary in themes and genre.
In November 2014, Tamko self-released an EP, “Persian Garden”, a collection of the first songs she had ever written. “Persian Garden” caught the attention of a larger than imagined audience which led Vagabon to a couple of U.S tours and several Northeast tours.
Tamko recently finished recording her first album, where she is the writer, co-producer and main performer of all instruments.
For the past few years, Ali Koehler has been best known as the drummer of the pop group Best Coast and the noisy girl punk trio Vivian Girls. After her departure from Best Coast, Koehler decided to step up from behind the kit to front a band of her own, embracing her melodic punk-spirited songwriting impulses with Upset. Joined by Patty Schemel (of Hole) on drums and Jennifer Prince on lead guitar and vocals, Upsetwill release its massively hooky debut record, She's Gone, this fall.
With 12 songs in just under 30 minutes, it's a pop-punk album that immediately sounds classic, full of unshakeable hooks and the sincerest of shouts. It is fitting that She's Gone will see a release with Don Giovanni Records; the record could easily fit in the record collections of Ergs or Lemuria fans. She's Gone was recorded primarily at Koehler's house in April of 2013 by Kyle Gilbride of Swearin'.
As a songwriter, Koehler draws on the snarky angst and punk simplicity of her previous bands, with a delivery that masks angry and cheeky lyrics with a sweet-sung and wide-eyed infliction. She's Gone opens with "Back To School," conveying that sense of first-day anxieties and uncertainty that comes with a return to an old routine. "First day back's a heart attack," Koehler sings. It's an intro to the sort of personal and relatable lyrics she sings throughout, full of anxious introspection. "Game Over" (written and sung by Jenn Prince) is bored and angsty, channeling distant vox and 90s-indebted noise-pop guitars; "Never Wanna" is an urgent and impatient earworm. "I just don't know what to do / I can't stop thinking of you," Koehler sings.
"Queen Frosteen" uses childlike, upbeat rhymes and a sticky chorus to set up her indictment of a friendship gone wrong. "When she sets the scene / it's a sugarcoated fantasy," she sings, in a way that's so overly sugar-sweet, it almost sounds sarcastic. "Queen Frosteen, my enemy / she's everything and I'm nobody / Queen Frosteen, my enemy." The closing track sounds similarly burned and pissed about it. "This was a lesson learned / this is goodbye," the band sings, girl-gang style. "That's not what friends are for."
She's Gone has moments of self-doubt and resonant angst ("I can't remember feeling worse than this," Koehler sings on "Oxfords and Wingtips") but it has a sense of humor about it as well; "About Me" even starts with a giggle. It's a sort of record that's not afraid to have sincere open-book, downer moments, but doesn't take itself too seriously.