The Regrettes Prescribe a Remedy for the Affliction of Love
On The Regrettes upcoming release, How Do You Love?, the power-pop quartet takes listeners on a journey through matters of the heart, while the band goes on a journey of their own.
By Erica Hawkins
“Are you in love? Do you feel it in your stomach? Does it twist and turn and scream and burn and start to make you cry, but you like it?”
So opens the sophomore album, How Do You Love? from Los Angeles purveyors of power-pop, The Regrettes. In a slow and steady spoken word, 18-year-old front-woman Lydia Night, displaying a depth beyond not only her years but mine and yours as well, poetically lays out the delightful affliction we define as love.
The arc of the album, like most love stories, starts with butterflies, peaks at a breakup (or breakdown), and ends with the protagonist finding herself—along with some closure.
“I think of the album as a puzzle,” shares Night. “There had been pieces that were finished, definitely, but without even realizing it directly, there were things the story needed to make sense and to finish it. There are things I went through in my life at that time… Having members leave the band is a big life thing when you’re close friends with [them]. So there are songs on the album written about that, that still fit into this love story, but the emotions are written from that place.”
The Regrettes, currently comprised of guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Brooke Dickson, and drummer Drew Thomsen, had literally came of age together, going through veritable life and lineup changes since their debut album, Feel Your Feelings Fool, releasedin 2017 on Warner Records. “All that shit was not fun to go through. But then again, I don’t know if we’d have the correct story without it.”
How Do You Love? is set to be released this August on Warner Records, and kicks off with “California Friends,” a dance-worthy ode to the excitement and hope entangled in the first brush at potential love. Then, half-way through the album, comes “Stop and Go,” a tale of caution once initial feelings fall way to analysis: “Stop before we lose control / Let’s take a breath before we go.” Reality hits with tracks like “Go Love You” and “Hasn’t Hit You” when the protagonist chooses themselves and walks away, swimming out from the complicated depths of affection.
Night realized she wanted to be a guitarist when her father took her to see The Donnas when she was just five years old. Since then, she hasn’t stopped channeling her emotions through guitar, taking a figurative and literal axe to issues both sentimental and political, including a track called “Poor Boy” that she and the band released earlier this year in response to the Kavanaugh trial.
“I think the coolest thing about writing music is that you can take your own personal experience and shit that you’re going through and not only help yourself and have it be a therapeutic thing, but also make art out of it,” says Night. “That’s going to help others feel less alone in their feelings and what they’re going through, and have it be this relatable thing out in the world.”
What Night and The Regrettes convey so well through their second album, and what I’ve felt in my experience (and what you more than likely have, too) is that if we fall hard, whether it be for a song, an instrument, or a person, there are no treatments or cures to restore us to our previous state. In fact, if given a remedy, we’d most likely turn away from the prescription, preferring the pain instead.
So, what are the symptoms? If you find yourself resonating with the infectious beat and lyrics from the album’s lead single, “I Dare You,” or if any of the lyrics of How Do You Love? hit you where it hurts (but you like it), then, as Night diagnoses at the close of the opening monologue: “Yes, my friend. I’m sorry. It appears you are in love.”
The remedy? Night shares the correct dosage of audible medicine in the message she hopes listeners will walk away with from How Do You Love?: “Self-forgiveness for not knowing the right answer. Knowing that all forms of love are tricky, and if it takes you some time to figure it out, or if you never feel like you’ve quite figured it out, everyone else is in the same boat. No one has it. Relationships can look perfect from the outside, but no one knows what they’re doing all the time. Everyone has their shit. Remember to be patient with yourself, love yourself, and learn from it. I think that’s what’s most important.”
Watch Lydia Night speak on the She Shreds x Guitar Center panel, “Transforming the Music Industry: A Conversation with Five Guitarists Shaping Music & Culture,” here!