Tag Archive: Psych


Umm
Double Worshipper
Majestic Litter

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Seasoned musicians Stefanie Drootin and her husband, Chris Senseney, have released “Double Worshipper” offering up an irresistible eight-track indie rock journey. The album opens up with “Black Summer”; a driving rock guitar intro to the duo’s congruous vocals. Experientially, there’s a lulling psych thread that really works in the sense that it’s difficult not to feel contented. That’s not to say the album is in anyway gooey as it most certainly kicks with tracks such as the fuzzy “I’m In Love” and the fast, upbeat “Idiot Child”. In short, “Double Worshipper” stands up lyrically and compositionally making it an exceptional debut for Umm.


The Darts (US) are an all-girl rock supergroup bringing together Nicole Laurenne (The Love Me Nots, Motobunny, Zero Zero), Rikki Styxx (The Two Tens, The Dollyrots, Thee Outta Sites), Christina Nunez (The Love Me Nots, Casual Encounters, The Madcaps), and Michelle Balderrama (Brainspoon). The band formed in early 2016 when, after watching each other’s bands from the sidelines for years, Nicole and Michelle realized there was no good reason why they shouldn’t just start writing songs together already. With six songs ready, Rikki and Michelle recorded their tracks in Los Angeles and then Nicole and Christina tracked their parts in Phoenix. Producer and audio wizard Bob Hoag shaped the sonic mix giving birth to two smoking 10” vinyl EPs.

Following their October 2016 release, the singles “Running Through Your Lies” and “Revolution” enjoyed instant radio airplay and “Take What I Need” was selected by Sirius/XM’s Underground Garage channel as “The Coolest Song In The World.” The band is signed to London’s Dirty Water Records.

HVUM: Hey, Christina! It’s great to get together and find out more about The Darts. We know that you came together as a band some ten years ago. How did you meet up and what made you decide to become The Darts?

C: Nicole and I where in a band together for many years. We all knew each other through various different bands we’ve all played in. Played shows together and all of that. Nicole and I have talked about wanting to do a “girl” band forever… just a bunch of bad ass girls who can rock without any boys involved. So eventually Michelle and Nicole hooked up and got together some of their song ideas. It started off as let’s just put some songs together and see how it goes for fun. 1 year later and we have 2 EPs and a new full length album on the way and plans to tour all over the world.

HVUM: When we listen to The Darts we think punk and grunge. Is that how you identify the band or are there other influences?

C: Well I guess everyone has their own idea of what the band sounds like or what it should but when all of our ideas come together it just turns into the Darts. We all like similar and very different things. And we all bring our own influences to the table for sure. I love Nick Cave, The Cramps, Billy Childish, The Trashwomen, various stoner rock bands as well. Nicole is super into Death Valley Girls, the Black Belles, Thee Tsunamis. Rikki loves Bleached and Wavves and generally more pop punk. And Michelle is more into rock n roll… The Stooges, Jimi Hendricks.

HVUM: Many HorizonVU Music followers are self-taught. Collectively, are you formally trained in music or are you more learn-as-you-go?

C: Well let’s see… individually we have all had very different musical backgrounds. Nicole is formally trained in classical piano. She played flute in marching bands. But learned to play the rock music through her experiences in bands. Rikki is self taught but went to summer camps for many years to learn more about drumming. I have been playing violin all the way through school so I learned a lot about how music works but self taught when it comes to bass. Michelle is self taught learned from listening to records and figuring out the notes.

HVUM: Let’s have a look and listen to your January 2017 release “My Heart Is A Graveyard”!

HVUM: Like great female punk bands like the Slits, it seems fair to talk about The Darts using adjectives like shambolic, inchoate, anarchic, and irreverent. Does that fit your band image? Do you have to work at an image or does the image just come about naturally?

C: Hmmm well know I guess I’ll have to bust out the dictionary to look up all those fancy words… 🙂 I don’t think we are specifically working towards an image. After so many years of being in bands trying to have a certain sound or image. This one is meant to be fun above all. Whatever comes out of that is what our image becomes. We play the songs we like. We don’t try to hard to make them sound like any specific genres we all have fun together and get along so onstage and on our records it really makes for just a cool fun rad vibe. Our image is us loving what we do.

HVUM: Sorry about the words…too many summer days hanging out playing Scrabble! You’ve just come off a European tour. Highlights? Lowlights?

C: Touring overseas is pretty amazing. Waking up every day in a new city in a new country is pretty rad! It’s hard to sleep in the van because we don’t want to miss anything amazing while we drive… the rule is “wake me up if you see a castle”. So highlights… well we played our first Dirty Water Club in London for or label Dirty Water Records. It was an amazing show where we got to meet some of our London label mates… Suicide Generation so good! The Priscilla’s and the CaveMen. The CosmicTrip Festival in Bourges, France also very big highlight… it is the funniest show ever. I think the bands have more fun playing around than the audience and the guys who run this festival are all so amazingly cool! One other highlight was playing on the beach at Midnight in Italy… the entire audience dancing in the sand. Then as soon as we where done running off stage down to the ocean and jumping straight in with only moonlight and the stars! The whole tour was pretty unforgettable though. Amazing crowds very fun venues. Can’t wait to go back!

HVUM: Great! We can’t wait to get you back and if you want a cool place to gig in Paris…you’ve got our email! You’ve released two EPs and a full-length self-titled album The Darts, 2016. You’ve got a new release in the pipeline, “Me Ow”. Tell us about the new album and how you see it relative to the first album.

C: “Me Ow” is maybe the best one so far if I do say so myself. It’s kind of similar to our other records since they’ve all been written very close together and put out so quickly. It’s not like we’ve had time to switch eras or anything. But I think we are closer as a band and as friends after a year so we play off of each other so much easier. And our producer Bob Hoag who has done all of our records so far knows exactly what we want/need and makes it happen. So it’s good. We like it a lot and hopefully you do too.

HVUM: Going a bit further, thinking about your work as a creation, what are you working to create? If “Me.Ow.” was to be captured in a painting, what would that look like? Do you have topical aspirations?

C: Me Ow is maybe the best one so far if I do say so myself. It’s kind of similar to our other records since they’ve all been written very close together and put out so quickly. It’s not like we’ve had time to switch eras or anything. But I think we are closer as a band and as friends after a year so we play off of each other so much easier. And our producer Bob Hoag who has done all of our records so far knows exactly what we want/need and makes it happen. So it’s good. We like it a lot and hopefully you do too.

Hmmm that’s a lot of questions in 1… We want to create an environment where people are rocking out, having fun, dancing, making out to songs about our crappy exes, our current loves, our tour dinners, or our messy situations. We aspire to tour all the time… our favorite thing… ever! Play songs and tour!!! In a nutshell Nicole says we are looking to create a soundtrack for new millennial sex kittens to dance to… that’s a way easier answer! Me Ow in a painting would look like Ann Margaret circa 1965 in a black slip snuggling a beat up vintage guitar. On the floor of a London dive bar wading in a plastic crappy kiddy pool filled with champagne.

HVUM: Okay! We’ll watch for the release on The Darts band site and on The Darts Facebook page. We want to pre-order right now…two signed pink vinyls!

HVUM: Seems as though the U.S., or the world as a matter of fact, is into dizzying political hyper overdrive. Your views? Do you identify with issues or causes?

C: The world is crazy. Do what you can to take your own stand for what you believe in. And if you do nothing then don’t complain… stand up for yourself! And people who can’t stand up for themselves. Our motto is put us in a box and we will still find something fun to do…

HVUM: HorizonVU Music thanks you for taking time out to join us. We know you and the band are going to continue to enjoy success going forward. Let’s Stay in touch!

Visit The Darts (US) at the band’s website and on Facebook!

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