Philadelphia’s rock scene seems to be a hotbed of musical talent, and the fuzzy surf band Queen of Jeans is no exception. With washed-out riffs and reverb-soaked vocals, Queen of Jeans channels a classic sound with fun, self-aware lyrics.
The band is vocalist/guitarist Miriam Devora, guitarist Matheson Glass, bassist Nina Scotto and drummer Patrick Wall. When Queen of Jeans hits the stage, there is a comfortable goofiness; it feels like watching a group of best friends jam in public.
And that’s the reality for Queen of Jeans. The members live close to each other and spend time together outside of making music. It’s on this canvas of support and friendship that Devora writes lyrics that feel confessional and real, bouncing between articulate vulnerability and tongue-in-cheek self-criticism.
“Any free moment I have I’m usually playing guitar or singing something ridiculous to myself or Mattie [Glass]. So little melodies are constantly fluttering around, and when I catch a good one, I usually push at it until something weird or rather, so weird it’s true and relatable, pops out of my mouth,” explains Devora via email.
This warmth and relatability glows across the six tracks on Queen of Jeans’ 2016 self-titled EP, especially on slow-burning, longing tracks like “Pup” and “Won’t You.” “Dance (Get Off Your Ass)” has a much dancier feel, but the lyrics retain that diary vibe.
In addition to this EP, the band released a slowed-down, surfed-out version of The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” at the suggestion of Scotto.
“[‘Walk Like an Egyptian’] is awesome, and Susanna Hoffs is a stunning, beautiful angel fish!” says Scotto.
While Pittsburghers may be quick to point out how rude Philadelphia sports fans are, Queen of Jeans’ perspective represents a softer, gentler Philly. Queen of Jeans is touring down to SXSW for the first time, and the gig that excites them the most is the REC Philly showcase.
“I love how [the music scene in Philadelphia] really feels like a community. Everyone’s always going to each other’s shows, or recommending each other for different opportunities, or forming side projects together,” says Scotto.
“We all have little band crushes on each other, and any time I see a member of a Philly band around the city, I’m super excited to get to talk to them about what they’re up to,” adds Devora.
This SXSW-spurred tour will be the longest the outfit has embarked on. Glass is excited to play lots of Beyoncé throughout the band’s travels, along with a collective agreement to listen to a lot of Solange, Mitski and PWR BTTM.
Except for Scotto. She has other plans for the band.
“We take turns picking the music,” she says, “and I think we all have plans to play the worst songs we can think of and see who snaps first.”