The Upshot: Indie trio with immense potential charms even the most curmudgeonly sort with a blend of C86 jangle, lo-fi, and shoegaze.
BY FRED MILLS
L.A.-based dream/twee-pop trio Rat Fancy has been stealthily slipping music into the indie ether all year via a trifecta of digital singles (among them, a delightful cover of Strawberry Switchblade’s “Since Yesterday”). Those are still available at the band’s Bandcamp page, but the big news is the new 12” mini-album Suck A Lemon. Featuring frontwoman/guitarist (and ex-Sweater Girl) Diana Barraza, plus Gregory Johnson (guitar / keyboard) and Gavin Glidewell (drums), the serves up fanciful (sorry) blend of C86 jangle, Velvets-y echoes ‘n’ drones, Flying Nun lo-fi quirkiness, and rollicking shoegaze.
That the gang has an abiding love for Brit-pop comes through loud and clear on the first track’s actual title: “I Can’t Dance to the Smiths Anymore” details, against the aforementioned jangles and no shortage of shambling, the gradual onset of disillusionment in the aftermath of heartbreak, and with Barraza’s wistful, yearning vox clearly stating her case, it’s hard not to feel like you, the listener, wouldn’t want to chance a dance in the future, either. The title tune, “Suck A Lemon,” is another high water moment for the band, the slightly phased drums, buzzing guitars, and keyboard squonks giving the proceedings an off-kilter feel; and there’s a second version of the song present too, this one a slowed-down, stripped-down version that omits the drums from the arrangement. And “Beyond Belief” goes for a Phil Spector-meets-Lou Reed girl-group vibe that’s simply magnificent—if performed live, it could be the kind of concert-stopping moment that leaves attendees present in varying stages of catching their breath and wiping the corners of their eyes.
Together only a year, Rat Fancy has the kind of potential we out here in indiedom live to root for, to cheer the band on as it grows and develops. Why not join the choir early on?
Consumer Note: Grab the vinyl of course. And some lucky fans may find it possible to even sleep with the band—as the photo above illustrates, Rat Fancy created pink promotional pillowcases with the logo and graphics in purple. Now that’s fancy!
DOWNLOAD: “Beyond Belief,” “Suck A Lemon (I)”