“Upbeat energy” might not be your first takeaway when absorbing Vodkawine – the debut EP from Pittsburgh prog pop duo, Sad Girls Aquatics Club.
Comprised of area natives Marie Mashyna (Bellevue) and Chelsea Rumbaugh (Ben Avon), SGAC draws from the band’s past experience as members of rock trio Side Eye and from Rumbaugh’s involvement with Shaky Shrines.
Rumbaugh, a Chatham alumna, and Mashyna, a Point Park alumna, channel a refined, deeply personal element of self-care and therapeutic transparency throughout the EP. Listeners experience dreamy, synth-infused progressions that are layered with a decrescendo of silky vocal harmonies.
Not one, but TWO music videos
‘Oh Billy’ – SGAC’s first music video concept – is an eccentric, palpable pivot from the moody vibes. Coming in at just over 3 minutes in length, the final cut is a cheery, buoyant track. It is planned for release in the very, very near future.
“We wanted an upbeat, quirky video with comedic elements and we wanted to share it with everyone relatively quickly,” Rumbaugh explains. “We decided to work with Zack Eisenfeld from Smith Brothers and the result was a fun, collaborative concept.”
Although SGAC is quietly carving out a niche genre (they’re referring to it as “breakup pop”), inspiration for Vodkawine was drawn from all sources.
“A lot of folks don’t know that MGMT’s 2018 release ‘Little Dark Age’ was accompanied by a music video for literally every track,” Rumbaugh says. “That was something we listened to a ton.”
The second music video from Vodkawine, a song titled ‘How Do I Get What I Want,’ will be ready for release sometime this spring. What to expect?
“We touch on some universal themes: being disappointed, the feeling of duality…it’s something everyone can relate to,” Mashyna explains.
“Someone might say, ‘Oh I never get what I want’ but you know what? Sometimes you DO win,” Rumbaugh says.
Sticking with the emphasis on collaboration, the video features cameos from several OTHER local artists: Good Sport, Shaky Shrines, Wwoman, Kelsey Cannon, Sarah Sindler, Hannah Edelstein, Elaine Healy, Nick Charters, Joe Praksti (Rave Ami), Steven Gallo, Seth LeDonne and Kate Stapleton.
“Collaboration just comes so naturally to us. It enhanced the whole production to have as many people there as possible. Everybody brought something to the table.”
Looking ahead into 2019
SGAC has set a goal for themselves: begin announcing and playing live shows by end of April.
“We are practicing now; if we are ready by then, we will commit to shows,” Mashyna says.
One thing to note: SGAC does NOT want their guests paying high (bar) covers to see them play.
“We want our shows to feel super inclusive and welcoming. They should be accessible to all so we definitely don’t want to be at venues charging a lot at the door. Our goal is for everyone to have a really good time.”
Some venues they are considering?
“We LOVE playing house shows mostly because of the energy,” Rumbaugh explains. “We really love playing the ‘Shnell (Bushnell). We love playing The Vault, Spirit, Brillo…we’re gonna explore a lot of options and experiment a bit with the recorded tracks (for the live shows).”
Check out Sad Girls Aquatics Club on Bandcamp: https://sadgirlsaquaticsclub.bandcamp.com/releases
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