The Regrettes Have a Heart-to-Heart Through their Latest, How Do You Love?
By Erin Christie
The Regrettes—comprised of members Lydia Night (lead vocals, guitar), Genessa Gariano (lead guitar), Brooke Dickson (bass), and Drew Thomsen (drums)—have racked up international acclaim for their punk-infused discography, as well as their unapologetically empowered philosophy. The band’s debut record, Feel Your Feelings Fool!, was released (via Warner Records Inc.) in 2017.Since being introduced to their heavy, riot grrl-inspired sound then, fans have been eagerly awaiting another full-length from the foursome. Luckily, their waiting came to an end on August 9.
Fresh off the release of their sophomore record, How Do You Love? (via Warner Records Inc), the band reaffirmed their undeniable star quality, even when discussing something as vulnerable as love. Previous Heart Eyes cover stars, The Regrettes have remained a favorite among our collective subconscious and this record only cements that fact further.
Generally, How Do You Love? is utterly smitten. It’s no question that a lot of passion and emotion went into making this record—after all, love as a topic seems to draw a lot of different feelings, good and bad.
The record’s tracklist sets the scene somewhat chronologically, presenting itself as a makeshift guide to the modern-day teenage/YA relationship, hiccups and all. What takes shape is a rollercoaster of a romance. First introduced with a prologue entitled “Are You in Love? (Intro),” Night has a heart-to-heart with anyone listening about what it feels like to be in love. “Who do you want beside you when you wake to start your day?” she asks, and we’re left to ponder.
Illustrations that accompany each track—that you can admire via Spotify and on the bands’ Instagram—set the scene from a visual perspective, providing a cartoon-y bird’s eye view into the unfolding plot, from the couple peacefully swimming together in a cherry red “Shirley Temple” for “Coloring Book” to an empowered Reese Witherspoon in Cruel Intentions-esque drive into the sunset for “More than a Month.”
Any worthwhile relationship has its ups and downs and this record explores just those, from the early inklings of “catching feelings,” to the honeymoon stage, to the speedbumps provided by long-distance, to the ever-daunting break-up as discussed in “More than a Month.”
The narrative approach to this record adds to its appeal—listening to each track and being able to experience the trials and tribulations of the relationship being described makes listening to the album in order (as it should be) an incomparable experience. Such also adds to it’s apparent intimacy, as if the band, fronted by lead singer Night’s genuine tone, is allowing you in on this epic love story that not everyone might get the chance to hear, let alone experience.
Since stumbling upon LA cuties The Regrettes sometime in high school, I have felt significantly connected to them and their music due to our similarity in age and the relatability of the material that they cover. When an artist or group enters the professional sphere at such a young age as The Regrettes did, the world is able to watch them grow as artists and as human beings—and in that sense, we’re able to grow together; this record makes that growth apparent.
When their debut record was released, Night was only sixteen years old; what she lacked in age, she made up for in spunk and bravado. Today, at eighteen, that same sentiment rings true. Since the very beginning, The Regrettes have made their “leave no survivors” attitude known, especially in terms of their outspokenness regarding the bogus hurdles womxn encounter within the music industry and just about everywhere else. That’s part of their draw from a fan perspective. Knowing that the artists you’re supporting make great music but are also actively advocating for and on behalf of those lesser-represented is a definite plus!
From encouraging all-girl mosh pits to actively speaking out against injustices against womxn (note: “Poor Boy,” a single from this new record, which indirectly speaks out against men abusing their power to harm womxn), The Regrettes have stood as a pillar for social change—and more importantly, for encouraging “girl power” in its truest forms. Despite this record primarily circling around the idea of love, you’re still bound to headbang along to a majority of the tracks for, even when discussing light-hearted topics, they continue to go hard.
With their focus on love, How Do You Love? takes a slightly new spin on the style and mentality that The Regrettes is typically known for, opting primarily for “mushy gushy” as opposed to “teen angst-y” throughout most of the tracks. “Pumpkin,” the lead single, is one of the more prominent examples of this—apart from 2017-dated songs such as “Come Through,” which explicitly rejects leaning on another person, “Pumpkin” is the polar opposite, instead embracing just that and even noting that the speaker’s attachment to their significant other might “kill” them. It almost goes without saying that a lot of this record, including this particular track, was inspired by the whirlwind romance between Night herself and Wallows frontman x 13 Reasons Why star, Dylan Minnette. Love can be all-consuming—so much so that it might inspire a full-length record!
This record, despite being a little different than what Regrettes’ fans might be used to from the foursome, is whole-heartedly enjoyable from the gate to the finish. After all, as we age and experience new things—love included—aren’t we bound to change? And why can’t change be a good thing? Whether you’re laying in your room, kicking your feet back and forth as you daydream about the person you’re crushing on or preparing to tear a hardcore venue to shreds, The Regrettes seem to cover all the bases for soundtrack possibilities. This record is certainly one that young people navigating adolescence and the tricky landscape that is love should be paying special attention to—with hope, they’ll be hearing it soundtracking the next Box Office rom-com or over the speakers at their local Urban Outfitters.
Check out the video for “I Dare You” below and make sure to catch The Regrettes (with Hala and Greer) when they’re in a city near you this fall!