I Swear I’m Good at This: the Debut Album from Diet Cig

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My fascination with Diet Cig started when I saw them open for The Front Bottoms and Brick + Mortar last year. At that time, they had one 5-song EP and two singles. Almost exactly one year later, they dropped their first full length album, I Swear I’m Good at This. Frontwoman Alex Luciano keeps it real with her audience and her unbridled honesty makes her lyrics so much more relatable. The opener of the album, “Sixteen”, details cringey moments of dating someone with the same name. Luciano addresses many relationship struggles and problems commonly encountered as one enters adulthood, or at least tries to. 

Among the sweet melodies and talk of relationships are discussions of heavier topics such as gender roles and consent. On “Maid Of The Mist”, Luciano spits out “I am bigger than the outside shell of my body and if you touch it without asking then you’ll be sorry”. Luciano may refer to relationships and seemingly mundane topics, but she remains feminist pop-punk and empowered. “Tummy Ache” and “Link in Bio” is where some of this feminist frustration boils over. 

Overall, Diet Cig nails combining a young innocence with ferocity and empowerment. They blend elements and themes together in a bubbly, dancy pop. I Swear I’m Good at This is an amazing debut album and I’m excited to see where they go from here.

You can listen to I Swear I’m Good at This here.

Diet Cig will be stopping by Seattle on April 28th at Barboza. If you’re able to attend, I highly recommend. The energy present in their music is multiplied by 10 at their live shows. Luciano jumps, kicks, and is an amazing ball of energy. She’ll make you dance even if you’re unfamiliar with their music. You can grab tickets for that show here. 

~Jessica Gloe

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Artist Alert: The Front Bottoms

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Looking for some new music that gives you the feels? Stop right there! You should be listening to The Front Bottoms. Blending acoustic and electric guitar, horns, and keys, the New Jersey band is hard to place in a genre. Whether you call them folk-punk, indie rock, or emo, their unique sound is hard to forget. Their weird, wordy lyrics tell interesting–and often funny–stories that pull at the heartstrings.

I was first introduced to this band by my friend last year on a long car ride(thanks David!). The first song I heard was “Flashlight” off the band’s self-titled junior album album. One of their most popular songs, “Flashlight,” includes a trumpet and the usual piercing, sometimes shaky vocals from frontman Brian Sella. My first thought: “What am I listening to?!” The quirky sound and lyrics were completely unexpected.

Fast-forward to this year when I saw The Front Bottoms live at the intimate venue, Chop Suey. It was a ton of fun. The room quickly turned into a mosh pit and a lot of the crowd knew the words to every song; security had a rough time trying to get people to stop crowd surfing. I was especially struck by how talented the members of the band are. Ciaran O’Donnell plays keyboard, trumpet, and guitar. Tom Warren, the bassist, played a booming solo and Mat Uychich killed on drums.

As if they were trying to separate the real fans from the people who don’t get them, The Front Bottoms subjected us to a reading on Calcite(a type of rock–the geological kind) before playing their encore. It was pretty funny when the audience screamed, “Yeah Calcite!” and applauded like it was just another song. If you ever get a chance to see them live, GO!

The Front Bottoms played some songs off their new album, Back on Top(2015). It’s notably different in style than their past records; much of the acoustic guitar is replaced with an electric one. I don’t like Back on Top as much as The Front Bottoms’ older stuff, but there are some gems. “2YL” is one of the band’s most optimistic songs. In addition to the electric guitar, there are some fun horns and keys to add variety. Sella’s voice, although more smoothed out on this record, retains some of the awkward charm which originally drew me to the band.

The Front Bottoms should never be taken too seriously–don’t expect to get too many heavy songs from them. Brian Sella has even been quoted as saying that he classifies what he does as “a funny joke.” I would argue that the band is better than they seem to give themselves credit for. Fusing together multiple genres and writing some crazy lyrics, they’re original. Looking at how their albums have changed over the years, the band is also clearly evolving.

Enjoy this live studio version of “Skeleton” off of Talon of the Hawk(2013)! And don’t forget to check out The Front Bottoms’ website for more of their music and links to other social media.

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Claire Marvet



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Lt’s Choice: Procreative Beneficence

This week, I was exceptionally late to everything so I made a playlist of my favorite music to power walk through campus when I am in a really big rush. Hopefully this can help you get to class faster if you are like me and like to get those extra five minutes of sleep.  

The playlist Procreative Beneficence is embedded below and the tracklist is as follows:

The Front Bottoms – Lipstick Covered Magnet

Modern Baseball – Tears Over Beers

Rackets – Pegasus

Joyce Manor – Constant Headache 

Tigers Jaw – Planes vs. Tanks vs. Submarines

Cymbals Eat Guitars – Jackson

The Hotelier – Housebroken 

Joyce Manor – Schley 

Dads – Shit Twins

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Lauren-Taylor Mansfield