Chicago based Power Pop band Pinksqueeze is set to release their debut full length album, Be Gay Have Fun!, a celebration of queer joy, this May and Ava explains how that came about.
How did this record come together?
This record is the culmination of years of songwriting and collaboration. There are a couple of tracks including Straight Girl Crush and Rainbow Hour that were actually recorded and released in 2019 and 2020 when Pinksqueeze was a 2 person project.
We were very excited to re-record these songs with the full band and have them really get to the sound that we had always hoped for before becoming the full band. We have songs written by each member of the band for this album, with each of us taking turns on lead vocals for lyrics we created and we are very excited about that. We have a mix of songs we wrote years ago and have been performing for quite some time, to a few songs that are brand new and haven’t been performed at all yet!
When the vision of the album as a celebration of queer joy came together, it made much more sense which songs we already had that would fit as well as which songs we needed to create to tell the story we were looking to tell.
What was the moment you knew you were on to something?
For us, probably the most validating and encouraging thing that keeps us going is when we get feedback after our shows from people telling us how impactful it is to see 4 queer people who are not men having fun, being powerful, and celebrating queer joy on stage.
We get feedback from young queer people at our shows sometimes that we create an affirming space to them, and that just feels so good to hear. That’s why we went this direction of “Be Gay Have Fun”. We all feel like there needs to be more queer art in the world, and especially art that feels good and safe and fun for queer people.
The meaning of success has changed over the years. What would success look like for the new record?
If this record helps anyone to feel seen or celebrated or safe, that would feel like a success. We hope that it is a way for people to feel community and to just cut loose and have fun!
Those magical moments when you’re working in the studio. Which moment was the most magical?
We have one acoustic track on the new album called Holy Critter, and it’s really a tender song that Logan and April wrote about queer identity and community for those of us who maybe had a difficult or un-affirming experience with religion as young people.
We decided that we wanted to do a big group vocal with some members of our Chicago queer local music community on this track, and to do a home-video style music video by a queer photographer in our community. It was our very last night of recording the album, and the very last thing we did for the album, so being able to share that moment with our community and to capture it in that way was unbelievably special.
We shared some tears and listened to the rough mixes of the album together that night. You can check out our music video for Holy Critter to catch some of those very magical moments!
What’s up for the next couple of months?
We are very excited to be playing some really fun shows and festivals over the next couple of months! Of course, our album release show in Chicago is what we are really looking forward to which will be on May 20th at the Cobra Lounge, with Cloud Houses and Abject Horror opening for us. It’s the only show we are playing in Chicago for a while, and we cannot wait to celebrate this milestone with our wonderful Chicago community!
We are releasing this album just a couple weeks before Pride Month in June, and we will be busy all Pride month playing at some Pride events and other music festivals around the midwest and beyond including Jorts Fest in Nashville, and a few more to be announced- you can follow our social media @Pinksqueeze_music to stay updated with upcoming shows!
Pinksqueeze: Ava, April, Anna, and Logan