Agent Ribbons, the female two-piece out of Austin, TX, is currently on tour in support of their new album, Family Haircut, available as a cassette or 7 inch, and I had the chance to catch them last night in Athens, purchase the album, and procede to listen to it several times this morning (I’m not tired of it yet, if you’re wondering).
Singer/guitarist, Natalie Gordon’s vocals contain a sincerity and soulfulness reminiscent of Mary Weiss (of the Shangri-las), and have a tendency to reach inside you and pull out a happiness that I can only liken to that first day of the year after a cold winter, when you step outside and realize the only thing that matters is hanging out in a park. The interplay between her own vocals and those of drummer/singer Lauren Hess, along with the jangling guitar and restrained and thoughtful drums, creates a sound that captures a nostalgia for a time and a moment I don’t even think I ever actually experienced.
The album is at times bluesy, at times a little country, and manages to be simultaneously gritty and saccharinely sweet…and while this may imply that there’s a lack of focus, that’s not at all what exists in reality. It’s subtle nuances that allow the depth of their influences and experiences to come out in such a broad spectrum of sound, but the album is entirely cohesive, entirely complete, and entirely enjoyable.
The band plays tonight in Jacksonville, FL at Underbelly, and the rest of their tour info can be found here.
Here’s the video for the title track off the new album: