Take your dusty Oldies But Goodies vinyl filled with songs by Dion and Etta James, play it over punk classics like The Velvet Underground or Suicide and you’ve got SadGirl.
L.A. based SadGirl is bringing back the romance to rock ‘n’ roll with their doo-wop inspired songs that feature romantically tragic lyrics, catchy melodies and punk rock riffs. They’re not afraid to get gritty, but they always keep things passionate—like two star-crossed punk rock lovers.
SadGirl, “Norma & Jessica”
“I think when I started the band I was in my early 20s … I was kind of pissed off,” frontman Misha Lindes tells BTRtoday over the phone. “[Now] these romantic ballads and gut-wrenchers, that’s where my heart’s at.”
Recently, they were signed to Suicide Squeeze, their first label. They released the single “Breakfast for 2,” a sequel song to SadGirl’s “Breakfast Is Over.”
“I love the notion of this tradition in rock ‘n’ roll of having sequels to songs—I thought it was such a funny thing reading about record labels where back in the day they would do a 45 of a song and it would be a hit and they’d be like, ‘oh shit, what’re we going to do for a follow up?… Oh we should just do that again, but it’ll be a sequel’,” Lindes says. “The idea [with “Breakfast for 2”] was essentially to reference the original song, signal a change a bit musically for the band, but follow in that tradition of rock ‘n’ roll musical sequels.”
Lindes was born and raised in L.A. and created the band after feeling disappointed with art school. After he dropped out he worked in a print-making ship and with graphic design, but was not content enough in his creative endeavors. Then about four years ago he started jamming with a friend, writing his own music and eventually was asked to play a gig.
SadGirl, “Breakfast Is Over”
“A buddy of [the drummer] who played in a band was doing a show at a dive bar and asked us to open, so we played that show,” he says. “Then we just kept playing shows from there… I kept writing songs and booking shows and kept playing.”
SadGirl came from a handful of names that Lindes had on the backburner. He says the group eventually decided on the current band name because it not only is representative of Los Angeles, with the city’s beautiful, but sometimes tragic atmosphere, but also alludes to the theme in old rock ‘n’ roll songs of love and tragedy.
Tracks like their first “Breakfast Is Over” or one from their EP Vol. 3: The Hand That Did The Deed “Love Storm” provide beachy surf rock guitar riffs poured over western influenced melodies, reminiscent of songs like Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk” from 1959 or The Flamingo’s “I Only Have Eyes For You” from 1973.
Their music also makes sense along with the imagery they provide for the band of a single rose. It’s sweet and romantic, but guarded and unafraid to prick you if push comes to shove—like rock ‘n’ roll; chaotic and riotous, but will always stand up for love.
“I think it’s an interesting representation [the rose]… Societally, flowers are seen to be more feminine, which I think it’s a bit of a silly notion, but it’s something I’m fond of,” Lindes says. “A rose in particular is such a strong symbol, it has this kind of powerful evocative nature… It seems so romantic and timeless.”
Lindes says he is constantly writing new material and currently recording in his own home setup. He intends for SadGirl to have a full-length (hopefully) sometime this year. In the meantime, listen to all their current releases and the full interview with Lindes on this week’s The Music Meetup.