From their chilled demeanours to their ‘80s clothing it’s apparent they’re not your typical girls. If it were high school, they’d be the ones that don’t fit in and don’t care. They’d hang out in the parking lot among their group of misfits being so effortlessly cool that you’d secretly pine to be them. You’d wonder where they came from, how they’re so comfortable just being and how they’re so unintentionally genuine. Once you gather the courage to speak to them their tactic is very apparent. Simply, zero fucks given. Naming their latest album, Weirdo Shrine, the four-member girl band has no problem embracing what makes them stand out. The album has a gritty imperfectly perfect feel. The band banishes any façades or gimmicks and focuses their sound on the never out-of-style beginnings of rock with their heavy surf sound. The Beach Boys would be proud of the alternative surf-rock, grungy guitar solos and the sly grittiness tuned into each track. Having recorded the album is a surf shop; there is a subtle hiss that you almost miss until you listen to the album on repeat. The imperfection that would have been a downfall in any other work seems only to aid the overall interpretation of the band’s sound, and the girls themselves.
Awaiting their set at Adelaide Hall amid open beers, red cups, and an awkward orange couch, the band took a moment to explain why being a weirdo isn’t a bad thing.
“Being awkward and being powerful is a good exchange. I feel like that’s a good way to relate to people, that way we’re not coming off like we’re too cool for school, you know?” Singer Shana Cleveland said.
So how does being outcasts translate into their music?
Shana: I don’t know if it translates to our music.
Alice: …well, stage presence wise.
Shana’s silently disagreed with a shrug.
Lena: I don’t know, if I saw us on stage, I’d think we were pretty strange. Like if someone asked me, ‘Hey Lena, how was the show?’ I’d say, ‘I don’t know they were pretty weird.’
The ladies laughed.
Alice: Yeah, there are sometimes when I’m like we are beautifully awkward. There are times when I think people are just laughing because it’s so awkward.
Shana: Being awkward and being powerful is a good exchange. I feel like that’s a good way to relate to people, that way we’re not coming off like we’re too cool for school, you know?
Weirdo Shrine, was taken from a song lyric and paired against black bole. Though after some thought, Black hole seemed vague enough to get lost in the similarly named projects, making the ladies ultimately decided on Weirdo Shrine.
Because as Lena explains, “If you call an album weirdo shrine, what are they going to say?” But the album name has a deeper meaning than a quirky tribute.
Shana: I was just thinking about things that we get obsessed with. Things all around us that are big or small, from religion to fear. Things that are weird or strange in a way that no one can see them like you do. It’s based on personal hang-ups or your own personal expression.
Alice: I think of a weirdo as someone that just feels misunderstood, like when you feel people aren’t understanding you.
Mariam: I take weirdo as a positive thing and a negative. When I’m thinking about it positively, I’m thinking about my friends how much I love them for being zany and being, quirky I guess. But a weirdo can also just be creepy. Like people we deal with on the daily.
Mariam: The day isn’t made if there isn’t one weirdo.
The rest of the band laughed at the unspoken memories.
Alice: Meaning a negative weirdo.
Lena: Well then, maybe they don’t deserve that term.
Alice: I think they deserve the term creep.
Mariam: Yeah, maybe not. I just think of a weirdo as someone I’d get along with,”
So there are good ones and bad. But in the end, for all those positive weirdos out there, Shana may have explained them best,