New Tune : L.A. Exes : Skinny Dipping

Photo Credit: Molly Adams

When the song is called "Skinny Dipping," one prolly need not brace oneself for a minor key rumination on the state of the human condition in the midst of a pandemic.

Gratuitous nudity? Yes.

The nagging feeling that you just caught a gander of Hollyhock Manheim-Mannheim-Guerrero-Robinson-Zilberschlag-Hsung-Fonzerelli-McQuack in the buff? Perhaps.

That all being said, this one from L.A. Exes is a smiler.

And that's OK. At its core, there's nothing wrong with high-fructose pop music, and nobody is going to think less of you if, once in a blue moon, you lock the door, put the Joy Division and late-period Scott Walker albums away, and wade into a pool of Paisley Underground-influenced jangle pop.

Let's call the prosecco optional, but if you opt to go that route, keep in mind it also pairs nicely with a band from that short-lived, but very influential, scene.

Yeah, I know. Not the best Bangles song, but still worth remembering if for no other reason than to showcase Susanna Hoffs' accoutrements. All-female quartet business aside, there truly is a place in everyone's record collection for a band like L.A. Exes.

Bassist Sam Barbera's subliminal t-shirt messages aside, The Bangles and The Go-Go's are pretty obvious influences, if for no other reason than Rickenbackers and geography. But it's difficult to hear this band and not be reminded of another long-time Los Angeles resident, the incomparable Josie Cotton.

An even better comparison might be a short-lived Detroit trio more folks should be aware of, Nikki and The Corvettes. Do yourself a favor and track down their lone 1980 self-titled release.

Finally, lest you think I'm playing L.A. Exes as strictly a jangly XX band, rest assured that I too feel the nervous energy of XY bands like The Plimsouls and The Nerves in their sonic offerings.

Raise your hand if you didn't know Blondie's version was a cover.

Keep'em up.

Anyway, these are busy women. The aforementioned Barbera has toured with Walk The Moon and registered 35M+ view for solo music she releases as BEGINNERS. Guitarist/singer Jenny Owen Youngs has shared bills with Regina Spektor, Against Me! and Frank Turner. Guitarist Rachel White has worked in the studio with Panic! At The Disco and Weezer, while drummer Steph Barker has held down the beat for Kate Nash, as well as released music under the moniker Baby Bulldog.

And what have you done this summer besides the yearbook-instructed, "STAY COOL?"

Anyway, the "Skinny Dipping" single is available now via your preferred digital music pusher, and while there's no official word on a full-length, I suspect it's only a matter of time.


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