After a near six-month hiatus, New Paltz’s favorite all-girl alt-rock band has released their first single on Spotify — and thank god. This semester has been prolific in terms of shows, music-releases and other creative endeavors coming from the bands in our beloved scene, but it’s hard to ignore how male-dominated the lineups have been since the spring. Yes Ma’am, and their new single “Mouth,” are here to shake things up and give the boys a run for their money.
The song mimics that of a siren; it starts off slow and sultry, but the directness of the lyrics and the shifting speed of the drums leads both the song and its accompanied music video – which can be found on Yes Ma’am’s official Youtube Channel – to a place of frenzied chaos.
The video starts off with closeups on the three girls – Vianna Koegel on guitar, Ruby Odierna on bass and Julia Bellontine on drums – playing their respective instruments with composure, restraint and harmonizing against a moody baseline. As soon as the tone changes, a harsh green spotlight follows them as they are seemingly being chased down a dark street.
The director of the music video, Connor Keep, used the last 30 seconds as their own personal hellscape; a kaleidoscope of ghost-buster green, fire and sporadic movements converge to reveal the girls with blood on their mouths — leaving the audience stranded in the worst part of a bad trip.
“I don’t know why it ended up being so dark,” said Bellontine, the song’s creator. “It was just a dark little thing that came out of me.”
“I would say it’s melancholic and dreamy rather than dark,” Odierna added. Her bandmates and I giggled at her poeticism.
“Well, I only wrote the first, slower part,” said Bellontine. “When I took it to the girlies, they came up with the idea to have a second part where it gets faster and a little more intense. I loved the idea. We ended up playing it live a bunch of times which made us understand the song better; off of the crowd’s reaction is how we decided, ultimately, what we wanted to do with the song.”
One of their last big, live shows prior to the release of “Mouth” was at Snugs’ Battle of the Bands back in April where they did, in fact, play this song. For those that weren’t there or don’t remember, they had the entire floor dancing by the time they switched up the pace.
“We’ve all had that feeling where you’re involved with a cryptic or spontaneous person and you’re like, ‘what’s up with you?’ The song isn’t about anyone specific, though,” says Bellontine. “It’s more of a fictional story.”
Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to write or practice over the summer, the girls – alongside Joe Ippolito, the band’s recording specialist and Santiago Coto Segini, the mixing master – recorded “Mouth” back in May.
“We didn’t want to rush releasing it too much; we figured that waiting until fall was a good idea,” says Koegel. “We also recorded another single at the same time as ‘Mouth’ and shot the music video for that at the same time too. It’s finished, but we’re looking to release it in December.”
The girls already have a solid online following for when they do decide to release their second single. On Monday night, “Mouth” was added to a Spotify playlist entitled “Dark Indie Rock” which already has 5,325 likes. The 49 other songs on the playlist include tracks from well-established alt-rock bands like The Killers, Fontaines D.C., IDLES and LCD Soundsystem.
As of right now, they do not have any shows lined up. However, they’re going to be ones to keep an eye on. With the success “Mouth” has had since its release on Oct. 20, these three should have no problem finding a venue to host them. Whether it be in Brooklyn or New Paltz, the scene is waiting patiently for an announcement of their next performance.