In 2013, Rachel Gagliardi felt one thing inside her shift. Whereas the Slutever drummer and guitarist nonetheless believed in her bratpunk band’s motto—pals first, bands second—she was craving some inventive self-discovery. Gagliardi made a pact with Michelle Zauner, then taking part in in Little Large League, to pursue song-a-day solo initiatives, publishing them to a joint Tumblr account alongside gifs of TV’s stifled girls letting off steam: Marceline, Betty Draper, Chibi Moon. Zauner’s flip towards indie rock spawned Japanese Breakfast; Gagliardi’s power-pop songs birthed Pouty. Whereas Zauner’s new band took off, Gagliardi held hers near the chest, driving out Slutever and becoming a member of members of Gap and Vivian Ladies within the grunge-pop group Upset.
A decade later, Pouty’s debut studio album has lastly arrived. When Gagliardi poked her head out as Pouty with 2016’s Take Me to Honey Island and 2017’s Saint Mary of the Moods EPs, she embraced spacious, fuzzy pop songs akin to early Greatest Coast with a tough edge. On Forgot About Me, she’s laser-focused on shiny pop-rock, leaning into massive manufacturing and larger hooks with the boldness of somebody who’s tried on sufficient pants to buy with out hitting the dressing room. As a substitute of taking part in each instrument herself like earlier than, Gagliardi calls the photographs as bandleader, directing longtime collaborators together with guitarist Evan Bernard, bassist Cat Park, and drummer Jarret Nathan. The wick of solo initiatives is willpower—to show your concepts are worthy, to uncover hidden components of your self—and Gagliardi proudly watches it burn. “Denial is a heavy drug,” she sings, as if addressing her bandlocked youthful self.
A lot of Forgot About Me is dedicated to the teen lady aesthetic, and never just because Gagliardi has ribbons in her hair or charms on her jewellery. She sings about astrological stereotypes, all-consuming infatuation, and crying in cafes. Her sugary voice is indulgent, however she’s fast to dissolve it within the noise-pop absinthe of songs like “Kill a Feeling.” Even her one-liners might’ve been sponsored by gel pens: “Life isn’t any method to deal with the dwelling,” “I’m warning you proper now that generally I’m insane.” Album opener “Salty” is a splash pool of energy chords, cymbal crashes, and Wurlitzer with a delightfully catchy refrain. “I wager you nearly forgot about me,” Gagliardi sings, earlier than following up with a smirk: “I’m not embarrassed.”