How Los Angeles D.I.Y. style has progressed since early ’00s
David Roman | Staff Writer
Nov. 13, 2014
With dreamy melodic tunes as attention grabbing as the lead singer’s pink hair, local Los Angeles indie upstarts Bleached have been making waves with their summer vintage sound that makes anyone wanna breakout in the Watusi.
“It’s Friday night in Echo Park, where anything can happen!” shouts the captivating Jennifer Calvin to a packed show at the Echoplex, July 27.
Since that dynamic show in LA’s flourishing hipster neighborhood Echo Park the punk-pop girls of Bleached have been very busy touring all around the country.
While the San Fernando Valley natives might not be breaking new ground with their dream-punk sound, it certainly is making waves. Started by the Calvin sisters Jennifer (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Jessie (lead guitar, backing vocals) back in 2013 Bleached has garnered a lot of attention in their native LA where they are known for putting on some of the wildest live shows full of kick-ass energy.
Tracing their roots to lo-fi garage rock band Mika Miko headed by Jennifer under the name “Victor Fandgore” and Jenna Thornhil as “Jet Blanca” Mika Miko was well known around the underground LA scene as the kind of show you wanted to see when you’re strapped for cash but still wanted to have a crazy time making a second home out of the all-ages venue The Smell with other acts like Hawnay Troof.
Despite turning out classics like “Too cute to puke” and “I Got A Lot (New New New)” and extensive touring the five-piece went their separate ways. But with the urge to perform stirring in the Calvin sisters they each joined other bands, with Jennifer relocating to New York and Jessie making a name for herself and her skills on guitar in LA.
It was upon Jennifer’s return to the West Coast that the sisters decided to take their early ideas to form a band more seriously and Bleached began performing and recording in 2011.
Releasing their debut full-length “Ride Your Heart Out” Bleached takes their listeners on a sugary yet sour sounding rollercoaster of emotions, from their lead single “Next Stop” which serves as their get up, get out and dance anthem. Their dreamy “Love Spells” epitomizes their dazed sunny feel both of these tracks revealing influences from the Ramones, The Donnas and even Fleetwood Mac.
“I was going crazy being in someone else’s band,” writes Jennifer Calvin on their label Dead Oceans website. “Me and Jessie are so proud and happy to be able to focus on our own music, together.”
It was their mid-summer performance at the Echoplex in which the band decided to preview the three tracks off their fall EP “For The Feel” which was spawned after a year of heavy touring throughout the country and abroad.
Featuring three tracks of summer bliss to mark the end of the summer the EP’s sound has roots in the Kinks, with the title track even being re-recorded through an amp owned by the venerated classic rock band. Between that and the lead single “Poison Ivy” which serves as a jukebox dance hit, the three-track “For The Feel” packs a groovy care-free punch that’s more enticing than most full-lengths.
Despite being a part of the underground D.I.Y scene for over ten years and enjoying every second of it, the Calvin sisters seem to finally breaking through to a more mainstream audience, even playing on Last Call with Carson Daly it seems that their forthcoming demo is one to look out for.