Author: Madeline Thomas
(All photos courtesy of the artists’ respective bandcamp profiles)
The San Diego born trio that is TV Girl is coming to Seattle. Along for the ride is New Yorker George Clanton, whose additional projects include ESPRIT 空想 and Mirror Kisses, all which operate under his 100% Electronica record label.
Turn on the average indie kid’s “feel good” playlist and chances are at least one TV Girl comes on shuffle. The sunshine sounds of Brad Petering, Jason Wyman, and Wyatt Harmon began streaming in 2010; their debut album, French Exit, released in 2014, followed a series of shimmering EPs- namely, in the artists’ own words, the infamous 2010 TV Girl EP, the acclaimed 2011 Benny and the Jetts EP, and the 2013 cult classic Lonely Women.
Across their discography, TV Girl maintains a harmony of sardonic lyrics within sweet, soothing indie-pop. Petering, main lyricist of the trio, writes of a young man’s love, lust, and general woes of life. Sing along but be weary of parents and passersby listening in as you repeat lines like “I confess to thinking sex was my salvation,” “And how long will it take before you start to hate yourself and go straight to the arms of someone else,” or the “she just wanted to die, but it was easier, it was easier to cry, cry to cry, cry” off of heavy hitter track “Easier to Cry” from the Lonely Woman EP.
Songs like “Pantyhose” and “Daughter of a Cop,” both off of French Exit, are evidence of Petering’s tendency to create and repeat a pattern of music throughout an album. Similar chord progressions can be easily identified, but, in my humble opinion, the cohesion isn’t boring. Before reading about the backstory of and intention behind a TV Girl album, one might write it off as easy-listening pop. Take the time to skim the Bandcamp descriptions penned by the three artists- the lyrics aren’t all saccharine and romance, rather, lamenting and lonesome.
Considering the prevalence of heartbreak, sex, and romance in TV Girl’s music, it’s no surprise the sad boys, girls, and gays of Seattle bought out every ticket to the upcoming Barboza performance. What better way to remedy S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder, for those of you without happy lamp dependencies) than with relatable music?
Sliding onto the stage before San Diego sad boys is Brooklyn based George Clanton, a man of many monikers. Clanton and musician Negative Gemini formed the 100% Electronica label to house his multiple projects and highlight other electronic and lo-fi artists. Negative Gemini is also Clanton’s girlfriend; in addition to being co-founders of the label, the two have collaborated and toured together. Clanton’s former side project ESPRIT sounds strikingly similar to the backing on his latest release Slide.
Slide has been well received by music critics and reviewers like Pitchfork and Anthony Fantano of the Needle Drop, and was featured as Bandcamp’s album of the day. My personal favorites off of the album are opening track “Livin’ Loose” and “Dumb.” If you’re listening to 100% Electronica, released in 2015, heavy hitters are “It Makes the Babies Want to Cry,” “Bleed,” and “Never Late Again.” Whilst opening for TV Girl this winter, Clanton seems to be focusing on his latest work, but I’m hoping to hear songs off of 100% Electronica and am equally if not more excited to hear Clanton perform than I am to listen to TV Girl.
Fans of TV Girl might not be familiar with George Clanton, but the aforementioned tracks are the ideal introductory material. If you like 18 Carat Affair, Surfing, China Crisis, and/ or Nite Jewel, you’ll probably dig George Clanton. Deep dive into electronica and don’t look back!
Before you get your hopes up, I am sorry to report that the George Clanton x TV Girl show has officially sold out. Forget to buy tickets in advance? Scan the Facebook event page for re-sell offers and last minute no-shows! Fingers, toes and tongue crossed you, too, will be swaying and swirling and sniffling and singing along to the sounds of youthful lust and longing. Spokane’s show isn’t sold out yet, neither is the Portland show the day after their Barboza performance.
Forgive the gloating; I am lucky enough to be one of the chosen few seeing George Clanton and TV Girl at Barboza. In the spirit of rubbing it in, I suggest perusing Clanton’s merch – just as counter-counter culture cool as his music. For the chosen few with tickets to the George Clanton x TV Girl concert, I send this call to action your way – please, please, dance. At least show the performers some full-body bobbing. I’ll see you in the dark at Barboza.
MADELINE THOMAS | merch is my valentine’s day gift to myself, thanks, me | KXSU Music Reporter