“L.A.’s SadGirl make slow and hazy pop perfect for your summer soundtrack.” – Paste Magazine
“SadGirl craft exciting new takes on classic Americana, refreshing its clean-cut codes with eerie lo-fi energies a la Twin Peaks and Suicide.” – i-D
“SadGirl sounds like what you’d hear on your dad’s ’64 Mercury Comet cruising down the highway to catch a wave.” – What Youth
With their new album, Water, Los Angeles trio SadGirl tap into the romantic and nostalgic spirit of their native city, while exuding a time-tested authenticity suggesting they’ve had a peek behind the curtain of the glitzy boulevards and relentless sunshine. It’s a collection of breezy pop songs captured with the timbre of old-time recording techniques. Songs like “Little Queenie” touch upon the yesteryear reverberations and longing of a Ken Boothe ballad. Similarly, a tormented love song like “Miss Me” transports the listener back to slow dances at a previous generation’s sock hop, only to be subverted by a chorus of “miss me with that bullshit.” It’s as if guitarist/vocalist Misha Lindes, drummer David Ruiz, and bassist Dakota Peterson want to conjure an idealized past only to remind us of innocence lost.
“Chlorine” similarly plays at our emotions, busting out a Sam Cooke-style love song where the muse is equally seductive and poisonous. Much like the reverb and vibrato-drenched instrumental “Hazelnut Coffee”, these upbeat melodies and antiquated sounds seem to reference some earlier era, and would almost feel subservient to some long-gone ideal if they didn’t feel at odds with Los Angeles’ current digital amphetamine pulse. Any accusation that SadGirl’s penchant for classic sounds is rooted in escapism is completely voided by the closing track “Water”, a sparse acoustic song driven by Lindes’ reflective vocals. “It’s about realizing your own mortality and changing nature,” the songwriter notes. “It’s meant to be melancholy but still beautiful in its realization.”
“If you want to learn about water, go to the desert.” It’s a piece of wisdom that made an impact on Lindes. “Here we are in Los Angeles, a desert, ping-ponging between drought and El Niño. This record is an attempt to share a small portion of my experience growing up and living here,” said Lindes. “It’s basically about the fluidity of water and its power and importance.”
Water was pieced together out of a series of recording sessions from the last two years using a variety of tape machines in a variety of environments – from living rooms to proper studios. Taken as a whole, they capture a band summoning the spirit of their surroundings in all its peaks and valleys. It’s a record steeped in the pop world of the past in order to create a contrast with our modern age. It’s a sugar-coated reminder of what we’ve lost, what we’ve never had, and what we’ll eventually lose.