The Regrettes - Feel Your Feelings Fool!
by Alyssa Legato
RIYL: Courtney Barnett, Cherry Glazerr, Frankie Cosmos, Kate Nash
Standouts: Hey Now, Hot, Seashore, 'Til Tomorrow
If the modern day riot grrrl movement had a face, I have to believe it’d look a lot like Lydia Night of LA-based punk outfit The Regrettes. Based in LA, The Regrettes recently signed to Warner Bros. Records late last year, and their January Release Feel Your Feelings Fool! brings punk girl power to a whole new level. Comprised of badass ladies Lydia Night (vocals/songwriting), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Sage Nicole (bass), and their drummer Maxx Morando, The Regrettes have quickly established a name for themselves in the punk-rock scene, opening for acts like Kate Nash and Sleigh Bells. The band was also just announced to play the first ever When We Were Young Festival in Santa Ana, CA - sharing a bill with the likes of Morrissey, AFI and Cage The Elephant.
Categorizing Feel Your Feelings Fool! is no easy feat, due to the versatility and sheer talent of the band of teens (Night being the youngest at only 16). Perhaps the highlight of the record are Night’s sharp and sassy lyrics, that most often emphasize a, “F**k your judgement, I’ll do what I want,”-love-yourself theme. Nearly every track is dusted with punchy one-liners, which, when paired with gritty, yet sharp vocals and instrumentals that range from noise pop to garage punk to 60’s doo-wop, clearly demonstrate that The Regrettes are an authentic talent. The juxtaposition of perfectly polished production and the rawness of their natural lo-fi vibe makes for a record that is unique but still radio-ready. Topping off at fifteen tracks, Feel Your Feelings Fool! represents The Regrettes in a way that we thought could only be dissected in a track-by-track analysis:
1. I Don't Like You: Right off the bat, this track paints a picture of The Regrettes that leaves you ready for the next one. Night’s raspy, apathetic voice channels major Amy Winehouse vibes, and when combined with saucy lyrics and a poppy chorus makes for the perfect opening track.
2. A Living Human Girl: It’s no surprise that this is the first single off of Feel Your Feelings Fool!, as it’s standout for sure. The "sometimes I’m ___ and sometimes I’m not" sentiment behind this song exemplifies the overall attitude of Night’s lyrics on this album. The ultimate love-yourself-in-spite-of-your-flaws-because-after-all-you’re-human anthem.
3. Hey Now: This is the first song on the record that really demonstrates their 60’s pop rock/jukebox kind of feel that makes them different than others in their scene. Probably one of the catchiest songs on the record as well.
4. Hot: "You must be oh so shocked, you'll never be they key to my lock" Clearly a song about rejecting some super hot dude because she knows his type. Repetitive without being overbearing, and continues the trend of witty/catchy as hell lyrics and riffs.
5. Seashore: A personal favorite on the record. A really empowering song about not putting up with any judgements people make about you. "I'm not like anyone else so you can just go fuck yourself." Kind of feels like an anthem that was written for today's women who still have to deal with sexism/judgements etc., especially in music. Night’s clear vocal talent is really apparent in the verses, as it shows off a more vulnerable sound than before.
6. Juicebox Baby: Kind of a funny song that just sounds like it's about what it's like to become an alcoholic on boxed wine. Or maybe it’s about falling in love for the first time. Same thing, really. Definitely could see this one in a silly rom-com.
7. 'Til Tomorrow: The tom-heavy drum part in the chorus of this song helps draw attention to the clean instrumentals and highlights the production really well. Very cute song about having a crush. This song brings us back to the 60’s feel with perfectly placed doo-wop vocal harmonies.
8. Pale Skin: Again, Lydia really shows off her technique as a vocalist on this one. The darker, eerie tone of this ballad gives the album some much needed variety as compared to the first 7 tracks.
9. Lacy Loo: This one has a lot of Amy and even some Elvis vibes, again bringing it back to a time in the past. A little bluesier than anything else we’ve heard so far.
10. Head in the Clouds: This one features a Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”-esque spoken rant to highlight album title, which in theory is a cool concept but feels a little out of place.
11. How It Should Be: The time change at the beginning of this song really shows off their songwriting talent. Once again showing the campy 60’s classic pop/rock influence, you can't help but get the image of an old jukebox. Ballad-y, but still dance-y.
12. Picture Perfect: This one seemed to fall flat and didn’t show off their clear talent and creativity as well as the rest of the record. Their own take on a sample of "Push It" by Salt-N-Peppa, as shown in the repetition of the infamous “Ooo baby baby,” line, just felt like it didn’t belong.
13. Bronze: A much needed pickup in the pacing of this album. Kind of feels like a song simply about growing apart with a best friend and being jealous of all of her new friends. Possibly the ~only~ song on the record that reminds us that Night is still dealing with the reality of being a sixteen-year-old girl.
14. Ladylike / WHATTA BITCH: This song seemingly has two titles, and has layers to go along with them. The first movement sounds like another great commentary on patriarchy/feminism, and the second is filled with more sharp lyrics that continue the, “F**k you and your judgement” theme.
15. You Won't Do: Another song capitalizing on self-deprecation to prove a point about self-acceptance. The instrumental is more or less of the same, but once again Night’s strong writing saves the song.
16. Cold (hidden track): A beautiful, sad, and stripped down song with themes of having dreams that are far out of reach. "My hearts insecure and my mind is a bitch, I can't cast a spell even though I'm a witch". Nothing like anything else on the record, which makes for a perfect hidden track to end things on an elegant note.
Overall, Feel Your Feelings Fool! is a solid, empowering debut from The Regrettes. The record clearly starts off with hit after hit, but seems to lull through the middle before finishing strong. Being as young as they are, the immense potential for The Regrettes is undeniable. If this is only the beginning, we better hold on tight for the ride that their next release is sure to bring. -AL