Loner Chic - Year of the Goth (Cover Artwork)

Loner Chic

Year of the Goth (2016)

Broken World Media

Loner Chic seemed to just appear one day walking out of the woods of Connecticut; there isn’t much of their past documented. They have a 2014 self-released EP, Pretty Void that features a handful of cuts that end up being re-recorded on the debut LP at hand, Year of the Goth. Loner Chic’s full length effort is the newest installment in Broken World Media’s unheard artist-turned new favorite artist series. After Rozwell Kid, Soda Bomb, and The Island of Misfit Toys, Broken World Media set us up to make a point of listening to all of their output.

The Connecticut group marries anthemic power-pop with the apathy and dread of emo. They take the same approach to the ambitious and self-pitying rock record that the first two Titus Andronicus records mastered, without the sprawling 8 minute opuses. Every cut on the album exhibits sticky melodies, grandiose choruses, and very angsty and forward lyrics. Everything about the group has this salt of the earth quality to it; the guitar tones are bare, the vocals have this slacker quality to them, and the production is just simplistic. This all mirrors the relatable and confessional appeal belonging to Loner Chic.

“Be A Burnout,” the first single off of the LP, is the perfect introduction to the group; the song is gigantic, sharp, sarcastic, and instrumentally fun. The organ beneath the songs adds a shine to all the melodies that are swirling throughout the track.“All Natural” sounds like Loner Chic at their most confident. It’s an absolute barnburner with a lush chorus, a slick bridge with a trumpet solo that ends with a downtrodden singalong. 

Even the slow-down tracks grab your attention. “Simple Song” really gets into some Fevers and Mirrors-era Bright Eyes territory; sad bastard lyrics and cowardly vocals that lower down to a whisper and then erupt into a scream. The song sways back and forth helplessly, like a sing-a-long about some impending doom. The finger picked “Liminal Space” is even quieter and has some nice strings peppered in mix, too.

Lyrically, Year of the Goth is what you’d expect an album with that title to be. It’s dry, sarcastic, and heart-on-it’s-sleeve. The topics have been explored before; ten tracks that wrestle with love, embarrassing upbringings, and death, but luckily lyricist/vocalist, Chris Cappello writes colorfully enough for these lyrics to standout and make the songs charge forward.

Loner Chic bite a little close to what’s been done before with artists like Titus Andronicus and Bright Eyes, but it’s not enough to call them a second-rate Titus or Oberst. Loner Chic possess a very honest quality to them that any person on the fringe can identify with. This debut puts forth so much personality and energy and they deserve heads turning in their direction. Broken World Media has a gift of finding and introducing new bands of all flavors to the “emo” scene, and Loner Chic are just another band in which we need to be thankful for being turned on to.