Lo-fi Pop Punkers The Regrettes Bring Their Teen Angst to the Masses

Wednesday 07th, August 2019 / 07:00
By Johnny Papan

Photo by Claire Marie Vogel

Mega-talent Lydia Night has packed a career’s worth of achievements into just over 18 years on this planet.

When she was just 13 years old, her band Pretty Little Demons performed at South By Southwest and, following their impressive set, she was approached by actor Ryan Gosling about joining his band, Dead Man’s Bones.

From there, the no-longer merely “budding musician” has collaborated with Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, recorded with Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, and is now steadily climbing the music scene ranks as the colourfully outspoken singer for The Regrettes, a teenage punk meets indie-pop riot grrrl act from Los Angeles.

Since the Regrettes formed in 2015, the band’s musical maturity and rapidly growing popularity has caught on in a big way. Their upcoming record, How Do You Love?, due August 9, could easily propel the group into the mainstream.

The record opens with “Are You In Love,” a 56-second poem read by Night over a dreamy, tripped out audio soundscape. It paints a macabre picture of “love,” describing it as an emotion that “twists and turns and screams and burns and makes you cry, but you like it.” These sound like lines ripped straight from the journal of an angsty teen whose perception of romance was, in that moment, shattered by a no good lover.

Photo by Claire Marie Vogel

“I thought it was kind of the perfect setup to the album,” Night explains. “I really wanted to give listeners some sort of context or preface to everything they were going to listen to. I thought it would make listening to the album a better experience, knowing the kind of story you’re about to be told.”

Night calls How Do You Love? a cautionary tale, a warning about falling in love, told from the perspective of someone who has gone through a crazy up-and-down relationship. The record is a sonic evolution from their first album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! While the Regrettes’ first album is a grittier, garage-styled offering, How Do You Love? edges into a poppier atmosphere and cleaner sound. Night was 16 when the Regrettes released their debut and her sound and lyrics are growing with her.

“When I was younger, and I was writing love songs, I didn’t have much experience,” Night says. “It was all based on a big crush I had on someone or it was, like, exaggerated stories. Now I’ve gone through shit. I’m older, I’ve been in relationships, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and I learned a whole lot about myself. This album was sort of my reflection on that and what I’ve learned. It’s very honest, you know? Yes, there are still exaggerated stories or whatever, but the majority of it is just extremely vulnerable and truthful.

“I think the main overall kind of takeaway I want people to get, and that I had come out with, is that if you’re not being treated right by someone, or you don’t feel respected or good about it, you can leave and be okay. I mean, it sounds super simple, but it’s really hard and complex. At first, walking away from anything can just feel like horror. But time heals. If someone’s not treating you right, they do not deserve you, and you need to make sure they know that.”