What if life were like a '90s teen rom-com, with your crush dancing and singing from the bleachers, declaring her undying love for you during soccer practice? Why can't it all be grand gestures of love, marching bands and happy endings? That's the question posed by Philadelphia romantics Queen of Jeans in their video for "U R My Guy," an homage to the classic Heath Ledger/Julia Stiles love affair in 10 Things I Hate About You. "As '90s kids, we get super nostalgic over the music, TV shows and movies," singer-guitarist Miri Devora tells Orlando Weekly. Their parody is sweet and nostalgic, yet modern enough to have a surprise lesbian spin.
"The idea just kinda came together as a group, but having that queer twist at the end was important, to me in particular. Half of our group is queer and we wanted that represented in this video, especially because of the song's overall message, which involves a satirical commentary on old '60s tunes with underlying misogyny," says Devora. "So flipping the script and making the person of desire a woman felt like an obvious upgrade."
Doo-wop dressed in flannel, Queen of Jeans explain their beachy melodies, '60s harmonies and '90s fuzz as "Crock-Pot pop denim-core." It's where the Mamas and the Papas meets Liz Phair, a parallel world where the Cranberries are from California. Theirs is a hard-to-pin-down sound that thrift shops through the decades only to land in the now with a sound that's both fresh and familiar.
"It's still difficult at times to describe our overall sound, but we feel like at the center of it all, there's definitely a pop element with a darker, ethereal undertone," Devora explains. "We also spent the majority of our time recording Dig Yourself [their debut album, released on TopShelf Records] in a sleepy beach town in New Jersey, so I think some of those vibes snuck in there."
They'll be coming through Orlando, opening up for Circa Survive and La Dispute, a pair of bands about as far from Crock-Pot pop as one can get.
"We're no strangers at this point to opening up for bands that are pretty different from us, and it's actually pretty exciting. I think there has been an effort recently to put together more eclectic tours," says Devora. "And a lot of people tell us we've exposed them to something they hadn't heard before, and that's really cool! Performance-wise, it's definitely changed us. Watching the way some of these bands command the stage has influenced our own energy."
I wouldn't expect stage diving or a mosh pit to erupt while they're onstage, but having caught the band earlier this year when they played the Social with Pianos Become the Teeth, I can promise you that it's well worth the effort to arrive early enough to catch their set ... but only if you dig jangly guitars, vocals drenched in reverb and a sound that makes you smile.