In an alt-rock field often clouded by sardonic humor and/or melancholic detachment, the Singles offer bright rays and blue skies illuminating carefully cultivated, deeply rooted melodies.
Featuring guitarist Vincent Frederick, bassist Jenny Pirch and drummer Nicky Veltman, the Singles exhibit a prismatic spectrum of pop, rock, country, girl group sounds and modern alternative. Like the geologic forces of nature that coalesce to form the brightest minerals, the group’s multitude of influences bear traces of the Everly Brothers (a cover of “When Will I Be Loved” fits comfortably alongside originals), Bobbie Gentry, the British Invasion, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris and Buddy Holly. Call the male-female harmony/countrapuntal vocals a smoother variation of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood or a hipper Sonny and Cher, but the sound is still their own.
Like the latter two, the Singles brought experience to the table when they formed in early 2010. Frederick’s use of the Singles’ moniker dated all the way back to 1999, when he formed a Detroit power pop quartet that went on to release two acclaimed albums, 2003’s Better Than Before (on the respected Rainbow Quartz label) and 2007’s Start Again (on their own Sound Artifacts Music imprint).
But after an aborted attempt at a third album in 2009, the guitarist headed to LA — also home to Pirch, another Detroit-to-LA transplant. Pirch had paid her dues on bass with the Gore Gore Girls, appearing on an EP (7X4), playing Little Steven’s Underground Garage Fest with legends like the Stooges and the New York Dolls in August 2004, and touring with the Cramps.
Experience, however, was the last thing on their minds when they met. Rather, the shared passion for the Everlys’ two-part harmonies led to conversation and, when their mutual desire to perform came to light, the Singles were (re)born. Rick Moranis lookalike meets Bond girl, Pussy Galore takes off Dark Helmet’s helmet, and sophisticated humor imbues the resulting sounds.
They were soon joined by Veltman, a power drummer also from the Motor City who enjoyed the same Gore Gore Girls ride as Pirch and stayed slightly longer to play on 2007’s Get the Gore album. When she arrived in California, a reunion was inevitable.
“The moment I saw Vince and Jenny play, I knew I wanted to join the Singles,” Veltman said. “I loved the harmonies and knew it would work really well as a loud rock ’n’ roll band.”
The Singles have played a steady stream of Southern California engagements over the past two years and laid down various tracks in the studio — including their debut single, “Tomorrow I’ll Be Blue” b/w “All That I Wanted Was You.” The inaugural pairing is not unlike the group’s other originals: songs about love lost, love found, wistfulness and hearts broken and mended. Just like the Everlys used to make.
“I think the whole Buddy and Everlys thing shines through in my writing a bit because that was my foundation and realization when I started writing songs,” Frederick said.
“Vince, Nicky and I get each other musically,” Pirch said. “We’re real music fans that obsess over music, collect records, and talk for hours about music.”
Music made by music fans for music fans. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Ugly Things magazine