The feisty one you see here is Jemina Pearl. She is the singer of Be Your Own PET, four 16 to 17 year olds that make one hell of a racket. After hearing their joyful, exhilarating new album yesterday, she is currently my new favorite singer. I had just played the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs when Jemina and pals decided to shake me up. Her vocal performance is so commanding and strong on that record that she outshone Karen O for me. That is saying a lot.
It helps, of course, that BYOP's songs are two minute bursts of utter joy, and that their drummer is one of the most forceful and assertive I've heard since I don't know when. But Jemina is the star. She takes total control of each song, and some of the lyrics seem to play on similar strengths:
Lean on my shoulder, lean on my shoulder / I want another year older / Lean on my shoulder, lean on my shoulder / And share a bed with me
she demands in "Stairway to Heaven", while she warns us in "Bunk, Trunk, Skunk":
I am an independent mother fucker / And I'm here to take your money / I'm waking round and I'm here / To steal away your virginity
Plus, she takes on the role of a wildcat in, well, "Wildcat". While this no doubt can be interpreted in terms of sex, there is no question who's in control. Still, my favorite line is probably
We all have holes in our socks / And Bad Brains totally rocks.
The album is released on XL Records on March 27th. Fasten your seat belts.
For soundbits, go here.
PS: Special thanks to Steinar for the recommendation.