I gotta soft spot for kooky and hungry young indie bands.
So pretend you’re at a house party, you don’t fit in, you don’t want to, and there’s three music nerds sitting in the corner. Perfect right? It’s Thomas, Melissa and Noam and they’re from Washington, DC. They have a group called True Womanhood, a band with a sort of echo-y early Cure, ends-with-Division-starts-with-Joy, post-punky, new-wave-y, sometimes sad, black-eyeliner somnolent sound. But there’s rhythm in there. They like experimenting and wailing off in the distance. They like bands like Caribou, Fever Ray, Bear in Heaven, HEALTH, Wild Beasts.
You like them. You get drunk with them. You become friends. They play you their trippy hipster music. You like, because you like curious college kids. And new wave.
Okay, we didn’t actually meet at a party, we met over email. And we’re not actually friends. But nevermind. We will be. I’m introducing you, shhhh.
So. True Womanhood is Thomas Redmond (vocals, guitar), Melissa Beattie (bass) and Noam Elsner (drums, electronics). Thomas and Noam have been friends since highschool. And the whole playing of instruments thing? That’s kinda recent. I asked them about that. Let’s let Noam explain:
“We’re all generally new to our instruments, I sort of became the band’s drummer because that was what was needed but I had never played drums before joining the band, only piano. And the drum set I started playing included a timpani, a 4-foot blade, and a railroad spike among other junk I picked up. Melissa, our bassist picked up bass when she joined the band as well, she hadn’t ever played an instrument before. And Thomas started guitar just as a tool to write songs on. I think that gives us all sort of different perspective to our instruments than if we had been well trained. We’re much more innocent in our outlook and open to experimentation.”
Sounds rubbish right? But it’s not. I really, really dig the way True Womanhood pokes around in musical corners, lifting up old carpets and blowing away dust. “We like dirty beats and scary sounds” says Elsner, and he’s not far off. Just imagine those beats and sounds coming from an abandoned hospital room and laced with a bit of Xanax, and you’re part-way there.
Their newest EP is called Basement Membranes, they’ve got a great video for the fab track “The Monk”, and recent singles clang and whir with sounds from a sewer, good ol’ tape delay functionality and an 808. And to keep everything lower-fi, they’re starting a new project called Reel too Real, because they bought a great big, fuck-off old reel-to-reel player that they restored and clearly want to tinker with. They’re gonna rip new tracks as they record them and paste them up on their Tumblr blog.
Meet True Womanhood. Have a listen. Then go grab them some beers from the fridge. \m/