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D.C. band America Hearts wants you to join ‘The Singles Club’

America Hearts: Jess Matthews (guitar and vocals), Justin Moyer (bass), Kristina Buddenhagen (lead guitar) and Sammy Ponzer (drums). (Nestor Diaz)
Interview with America Hearts' Jess Matthews

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 7:38 am

Tim Bracken, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Local band America Hearts plays quirky garage-pop driven by the tried-and-true formula of straightforward guitar, bass and drums. It’s teamed up with the Black Cat nightclub for a fresh take on an album release show.

“The Singles Club” show series consists of three monthly concerts from America Hearts, along with the release of new music in small increments — two or three songs at a time. The idea offers a great way to fully absorb the band’s songs.

Jess Matthews fronts the band on guitar and vocals. A veteran of the D.C. music scene, she played drums in the band Edie Sedgwick. Sedgwick mastermind Justin Moyer encouraged Matthews to write her own songs.

That encouragement eventually led to the formation of America Hearts, and the band has since released EPs through local record labels Yeah Gates and Sockets.

Matthews writes songs that are alternately charming, awkward and snarky. Think bands like The Magnetic Fields, the Modern Lovers and The Beach Boys.

“Out of all the music that I love, I think what’s been the most influential is rock and roll that’s about contradictions,” Matthews says. “It’s subversive, it’s entertaining, it’s fundamentally cynical. Adults listen to it, but it’s unquestionably childlike in the simplicity of the music.”

It wasn’t difficult for Matthews to find a venue for “The Singles Club.” She pitched the idea to the club’s booking staff, and they immediately liked the concept.

“Black Cat was my first choice to do ‘The Singles Club,'” says Matthews. “It feels like home there.”

Thursday marks the second installment of “The Singles Club.” The final show will be held June 27.

Listen to the America Hearts song “White Socks”:

America Hearts – “White Socks” by Sockets Records

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