The Icicles are a melodic indie pop ensemble fronted by singer/songwriter/guitarist Gretchen DeVault and her longtime musical partner, the ethereal keyboard alchemist Joleen Rumsey. Lead guitarist Rebecca Rodriguez, who joined for 2007’s Arrivals and Departures, offers an increasingly emphatic reverb-drenched counterpoint to Joleen’s spaced-out sounds. The band was joined on Renegade Parade by a new rhythm section — Zane DeVault and Aaron Ekins (making it a family affair — Zane is Gretchen’s hubby and Aaron is her brother-in-law).
With a new lineup solidified, the Icicles embarked on a period of breakneck creativity, recording Renegade Parade released in 2012. And even with the higher mope factor, the Icicles did not abandon the spoonful of sugar approach to the bad things in life. As the music turned darker and examined more adult themes, the sounds became more lush and beautiful, at that knife edge where beauty and sadness are joined. The band sounds less self-consciously retro and more au courant.
The Icicles were founded by college pals Gretchen DeVault and Joleen Rumsey (along with original drummer Korrie Ottenwess) in 1999. Following 2001’s Pure Sugar EP, bassist Emily Krueger joined the group. By the time of 2004’s A Hundred Patterns, founding drummer put away her vintage Rogers drum kit and was replaced by Greg Krupp. That album’s big single “Sugar Sweet” was picked up by Motorola in an international cell phone commercial. That was the Icicles’ first flirtation with the big time.
Next up was 2007’s Arrivals and Departures, which features “La Ti Da” — a tenacious earworm that was used by Target in the mega-retailer’s “Feel the Happy” campaign.
As the Icicles enter their second decade of existence, the group remains a vital creative force. “Just need a space, a place where I can clear my head,” Gretchen sings on “Would You Know.” As the heebie jeebies of adulthood creep up, that space of clarity is still found most easily inside the music.
Tempus Fugit. Time Flies. Ars longa, vita brevis. Art is long but life is short.
Voluptuous Panic is a sonic exploration of a series of realizations: life is change. Dreams are real. The present is an artifact of the past and a premonition of the future. Beauty is connected to pain, while pain holds beauty in its heart. We are connected to the sky, and the only direction is forward. Or in shorthand -- a shoegazer band. This project began when band co-founder Brian J. Bowe moved to Paris for a year and he and I started recording transatlantically using GarageBand and DropBox.
The Francine Odysseys
LA-based The Francine Odysseys embraces the thrill and the fear of indie pop at midlife as a siren call to everyone else who might have believed that they should have it all figured out by now.
Fronted by Gretchen DeVault, who led The Icicles through a string of well-received albums (landing licensing deals for Target and Motorola). She is also half of the transoceanic shoegazer duo Voluptuous Panic. In 2016, she moved to LA to further pursue music. Through Neal Ramirez (The Snow Fairies), she connected with accomplished indie pop guitarist Ian Patrick (History of Manners) and pulled in friends and fellow indie musicians Mike Butkovic (The Attendants, Corey Landis and the Attacks) and John Miller (John Miller and the Payback, Bad Science Fiction, Middlebrook) for drums and bass.
The Francine Odysseys draws inspiration from a new generation of indie pop bands like Jay Som, The Beths, and Alvvays with a nod to the bands of their youth: Throwing Muses, The Lemonheads, and Bettie Serveert. The cumulative effect of these influences is clearly felt as the band pushes the boundaries of indie pop to make meaning out of life’s bittersweet and messy juxtapositions. Jangly guitar hooks, catchy melodies and bright vocals deliver a beautiful sound that invites repeat listening. The result is a fresh take on indie pop that synthesizes loss and uncertainty with comforting melodies that unfold to reveal an intense depth of emotional complexity.
Gretchen DeVault's music (performed by the Icicles) has been licensed to Target and Motorola as well as several independent films.
For licensing inquiries, email: email@example.com