August 10, 2019 The Regrettes – How Do You Love? (Album Review)
While love is a very common theme in music, used by musicians to evoke an emotional response from their audience, very seldom is it ever the concept of an entire album. That is exactly what L.A. based Power Pop outfit The Regrettes do with their sophomore LP How Do You Love? out on Friday, August 9th through Warner Records.
Currently made up of Lydia Night (vocals), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Brooke Dickson (bass), and Drew Thomsen (22, drums), with an eclectic sound that is a surprising mix of ’60s Rock-n-Roll along with ’90s Riot Grrl Pop, The Regrettes have been riding an explosive wave since the release of their 2017 debut album, Feel Your Feelings, Fool!. Since then, they have released their critically acclaimed 2018 Attention Seeker EP, as well as their standalone anti-Kavanaugh anthem “Poor Boy,” which ELLE deemed a “feminist call-to-arms.” On top of that, they have been dominating the festival scene with appearances at Coachella to Reading + Leeds and gracing the covers of the LA Times and LA Weekly.
With their new album, “Are you in love?” are the first words spoken as 18-year-old Vocalist Lydia Night lays out the side-effects of being bitten by the love bug. With a soft lull it sets the stage and effectively gets the listener in the mood to feel something. From there, things kick off with “California Friends,” an electric, upbeat track about the excitement and uncertainty that comes with new love. “[It’s about] not knowing your feelings towards that person, really,” Night says, “but your gut is telling you that you like them, or love them, but you just know that it’s not what’s easiest [for you].”
Moving on comes “I Dare You.” The first single off the album, and understandably so, it has a vintage Rock-n-Roll feel that is as bright and colorful as the music video. The clouds are very fitting as the lyrics evoke some serious ‘let’s fall head over heels in love’ vibes. The love-fest does not stop there with the next few tracks, “Coloring Book” and “Fog.” Then the song “Pumpkin” details all the cynicism that comes with trying to fight your feelings. In true ‘I won’t say I’m in love’ fashion, Night sings, “I used to think that Romeo was full of shit, and The Notebook was just my favorite chick flick. But now I get why Sarah was so hard to forget, It’s this feeling that I’m feeling like Nemo in a net.” Come to think of it, falling in love does feel a lot like being lost at sea.
Starting to slow things down on “Stop and Go” Night explained the track is about realizing that her new relationship isn’t perfect. That said, the relationship starts to take a turn for the insufferable by the time you get to “Dead Wrong”. Then in the last quarter of the record you start the see the dark side of love with “Go Love You” which speaks to anyone that’s ever been burned in a relationship.
Then around the time the last bit of the record arrives, the relationship is over. Moving on and realizing your worth, with every riff and growl, the band declare their strength on “Has It Hit You.” In fact, the entire last half of the record evokes feelings of doing what’s best for yourself after finally learning to let go of what (or in this case “who”) was holding you back.
The final track perfectly rounds out this love story with a song full of self-reflection and empowerment. The title cut, “How Do You Love? is a knock-out, coming in hot with punchy guitar riffs and hard and fast drumming. It touches on the frustration of moving on alone, but knowing you will be okay in the end. “It’s about finding bravery through love,” Night says. “It’s about learning and accepting that, yes, you went through a shitty breakup, but that’s amazing – because all that means is that next time you’re in a relationship, you know so much more about yourself and what you want.”
How Do You Love? is a journey of self-love while experiencing an epic love come crashing down. It plays out like a full-length love letter, detailing the dizzying ups and downs of falling in love. From the first flutters in butterflies in your stomach, to the devastation of heartbreak, to moving forward. Furthermore, it is inspired growth and self-discovery from the moment you hear the soft-spoken word intro to the closing title-track. While its melodies are albeit, repetitious, it is consistent, ambitious and hits every emotion like a hammer to a nail. For all these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives How Do You Love? 4 out of 5 stars.
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