During her days at the Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp in Nashville back in 2012, Arin Eaton dreamed about forming a band in the same mold as Those Darlins, who also got their start at the same camp. Two years later, Arin made her dream a reality in founding Karen Meat & The Players. Together with her trusty computer, Phil Young (bass), and Brad Turk (omnichord, percussion, vocals), the multi-instrumentalist Eaton (vocals, guitar, synth, organ, percussion) has released one EP, I Sang Melanie, and a single, “We Were Never”.
Tomorrow, the Des Moines, Iowa-based band will release their second EP – and their first studio recording – Karen Meat & The Computer. With her twangy voice, witty and amusing lyrics akin to Courtney Barnett, and a catchy, melodic indie-pop-rock vibe, the EP is smile-inducing, fun, and completely unpretentious. It’s full of energy and just a blast.
Take “Your Blood”, for instance. It’s a song that you can’t help not to laugh. It has a boppy beat, the dual vocal of Eaton and Turk perfectly play off each other, and lyrics are humourous yet almost too real:
In this situation everybody loses
But I want your pretty faces with cuts and bruises
Oh yeah! / I want to spend some time with you
I want to turn you black and blue
And I want to stare into your eyes.
The opening track, “The Prettiest Song”, is fabulous song that mixes indie pop with 70s-era, down-home, country music. It recalls the brilliant debut album by Alison Bohl DeHart – a.k.a. Kind Cousin. The same mixture is also heard on “If I Were Yours”, although this terrific, upbeat, melodic track leans more towards 60s pop. The addition of the omnichord – an instrument that we love – provides a welcoming texture to the song.
“Pizza & Bear” is about pure gluttony – something we all indulge from time to time. However, gluttony takes on a whole different meaning and imagery on this song. As Eaton and Turk sing:
Pizza & Bear, keep my head clear
Get rid of fogginess because of my stress
I’ll think about exercise and I’ll close my eyes
For only a minute or two
You want me to be the girl of your dreams
But I rather barf all the shit I scarfed down earlier
“Brad’s Last Waltz” feels more like a polka with the ominchord and pace, but it’s probably the most serious track on the album. The slower, mellower track reflects back on the “American Dream”, where not everything is possible and that instead one feels trapped and isolated.
This Hidden Gem of a band has an immense future, creating music that is infectious and lyrics that are humourous yet reflect experiences many people can relate to. It won’t be long until the band starts living its American Dream, touring across the the US, North America, and around the world winning fans over.
Hear the five tracks from Karen Meat & The Computer belone. It comes out Tuesday on Red Nude Tapes, and it can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp.
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