Deap Vally is back. After three years away, the lean and mean LA duo is set to release their second album, FEMEJISM, on September 16. On Friday afternoon at Culver City’s World Arts stage, Julie Edwards and Lindsey Troy unleashed three new tracks that were filmed for an upcoming episode that will round out the first season of Nic Harcourt’s Transmissions series.
Performing without shoes (as they customarily do), Deap Vally dove straight in to new single “Smile More.” The song must have Australian DNA; it borrows from ACDC’s “T.N.T.” chorus, while putting a wry spin on Courtney Barnett’s conversationalist wit. Already dubbed a fuck-you anthem, its pride outplays its anxious neuroticism. “Sometimes I am full of bitterness, but I am trying to work through this,” Troy concedes, but also counters herself: “I am not ashamed of my rage.”
According to hipster legend, Deap Vally met in Silver Lake at a crochet class; appropriately, the band’s name is a reference to a crocheting term. They are a tight and powerful unit, and one of those duos that manage to evoke a sound far greater than that of two musicians. “Little Baby Beauty Queen,” for example, revs up in to a full-blown white hot banger, climaxing with cymbal crashes and spitfire lyrics, “Killer on the loose!…Killer on the loose!”
Most recent single “Royal Jelly” is an angular and choppy slow boil. Disparate elements, from a hypnotic and looping riff to its dual whistled outro, suggest patchwork quilt design. By the end of the song, amidst all the rock n roll madness, Edwards’ sneaky falsetto could have been (and was) mistaken for a second shrieking guitar.
True to the format of the previous 11 episodes of Transmissions, Deap Vally’s appearance also included a rapid fire Q&A session. The conversation revealed nuggets of the band members’ lives and musical histories, coaxed out via Harcourt’s warm way. Inspiration comes via Disney, John Lennon, Joanna Newsom, and Queens of the Stone Age; though the slightly aloof twosome copped to thinking that interviews can be “misery.”
In advance of the arrival of FEMIJISM, Deap Vally’s short set served as a shot across the bow. Flush with defiant attitude, Deap Vally is barefoot and ready for reemergence.
Little Baby Beauty Queen