When the three members of Seattle’s newest "all killer-no filler" supergroup, Who Is She?, walk through the door of Linda’s Tavern, I already know who they are.
Robin Edwards, AKA Lisa Prank, Tacocat bassist Bree McKenna, and Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, all order matching red wines, mimicking Shapiro’s red wine phone case, and sit down to talk about their new album, Seattle Gossip.
McKenna, Edwards, and Shapiro all met through one another. McKenna and Edwards were brought together by beloved Seattle music house, Spruce Haus. Then Childbirth (Shapiro, McKenna and Stacey Peck of Pony Time) brought Lisa Prank on a tour, and the three have been friends since.
Some late night jam sessions combined with the Stranger’s own "I Saw You" ads (on the now deceased Lovelab/Lustlab) led to the creation of the three’s newest crossover band, Who is She?
The group was originally called Gutless, in reference to the writers of Craigslist missed connection-esque ads on Lovelab, because they weren’t brave enough to talk in person (it's also a reference to the Hole song).
Shortly thereafter they realized the name Gutless was already taken, so they took inspiration from McKenna’s “mysterious woman” outfit of sunglasses and a headscarf that she wore on the Childbirth and Lisa Prank tour, and dubbed the band Who Is She?, a move that also captured the essence of an "I Saw You" ad.
A friend of McKenna’s said that "I Saw You"s made good songwriting prompts - random people telling stories about tiny crushes on other random people from their daily life, and recounting these chance encounters on Lovelab in the hopes of meeting again and going on a date.
And that’s how their first couple of songs came to be, including “Nervous Dufflebag Boy,” “Blushin on the 44,” and “Worst Girl at the 5 Point.”
“Missed connections are kind of creepy,” McKenna said.
“I think they’re sweet and romantic,” Edwards objected.
“They're just like someone lurking a little bit,” McKenna clarified. “That makes kind of a good pop song — like a little bit of creepy.”
“It's kind of a magical,” Edwards said. “In romcoms they call it a 'meet cute', like it's kind of a 'meet cute'.”
And the trio does love their romcoms — they recounted a long list of favorites to Consequence of Sound. They even have an entire song on the record dedicated to the genre called “Romcom."
Their love of early 2000’s culture also comes through on song titles like “I’m Getting Courteney Cox and David Arquette Back Together If It’s the Last Thing I Do,” a 50 second, almost entirely instrumental ballad, where the trio screams about getting the couple from Scream back together.
“My takeaway from Scream is that it's a love story — a beautiful love story,” Edwards said while laughing. “I [don’t] think that's everyone's takeaway from Scream though.”
The three then delved into their current obsession with returning to things they loved as a teenager, including Josie and the Pussycats, the Internet time traveler John Titor, and Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life (peep “Jordan Catalano” and “John Titor” on Seattle Gossip for more).
Nearly all of Who Is She?’s songs are under two minutes, making them perfect catchy ditties about Seattle-esque interactions and ideas, such as the infamous “Seattle Freeze.”
The trio doesn’t believe in the Seattle Freeze, claiming, “It’s not Seattle, it’s you.”
They cite their ability to make endless bands with their friends as the best example, and the list is enough to make anyone dizzy:
Shapiro and McKenna’s own crossover band, Childbirth, led to a band called Chore Wheel with just McKenna and Stacey Peck.
Edwards and Peck have Party Girls, and then Edwards, McKenna, and Peck are in the Christmas cover band, Ms. Claus.
There’s even another Christmas cover band called Seattle’s Little Helpers. They figured that was enough to dispel the notion of the Seattle Freeze.
When asked if there will ever be a limit to their crossover bands, the three responded:
“I don't think there will be a limit,” McKenna said.
“There's no limit,” Shapiro said, laughing. “The sky's the limit.”
And Edwards concluded, “Our friendship is the limit.”
Who Is She’s debut album, Seattle Gossip, is out on Father/Daughter Records. Their celebratory tape release show will be held tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. at Everyday Music, with support from Secret Superpower and Weezer cover band, Goat Reward.