Queen of Jeans’ self-titled debut album, released Friday, is a sonic journey navigated by lead singer Miriam Devora’s omnipresent and overpowering vocals.
The Philadelphia-based indie-pop band — consisting of Devora (vocals), Matheson Glass (guitar), Nina Scotto (bass) and Patrick Wall (drums) — describes their sound as crockpot pop, denimcore and, my personal favorite, “estrogen on ice.” These titles can be translated as a harmonious mixture of surf, psychedelic and dream-pop influences.
The cover art of their debut, created by artist Steven Arnold, is a cotton candy-colored dreamscape blossoming with mushrooms and flowers, where some little girls stand consoling a sad goat boy.
The strange image serves as an extremely fitting lead into this hazy, funky and extremely dance-worthy EP.
The first track on the album, “Dance (Get Off Your Ass)” gives off some surf-rock vibrations. The lyrics, “Get off your ass and make me dance,” pair well with the fact that this song will make you want to get up and tip-toe around the room to Devora’s rolling waves of hooky melodies.
Queen of Jeans slows it down in their second track, “Pup,” with drawn-out, elastic twangs from Glass’s guitar. The angelic transitions of Devora’s voice guides listeners through the slow, flowing sea of drums and guitar strokes.
If the esteemed Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker were a female, “Pup” is what his music would sound like. That is in no way intended to devalue Queen of Jeans’ take on the sound, as it is impressive in its own right.
“Rollerdyke,” the third track, takes a bit of a punkier, sharp-edged approach to the band’s style — guitars squeal and amps screech. Yet, the muffled drums and light taps of the cymbals keep it within the same laid-back realm of the previous two songs.
Devora’s voice exists within a fog of ethereal drones that catch and compliment the notes that she hits in the fourth track, “Won’t You.” This creates a very soft and rounded-off sound which is amplified by the heavy use of Scotto’s bass guitar.
“Won’t You” fades into the folk-inspired “Moody.” Devora’s voice takes on a deeper, huskier inflection, while the guitar and drums continue to pad her voice in that psychedelic fuzziness.
Finally, the EP ends with “Waffles and Madmen,” and, as the name suggests, is a really fun song from an artist’s perspective. Devora uses this final track to prove — as if she hadn’t already — the wide range of her voice as it dips, crescendos and blossoms up through the ever-present drone of reverb and snares.
“Waffles and Madmen” provides an appropriate end to this funky album, as it could easily be the closing call song that couples sway to in a dance hall at three in the morning — slow, numbing and euphoric.