Somewhere lost between the deteriorated pages of 80’s TV Guides and infomercials lies the cheerful, gleaming ability of the charismatic workings of TV Girl. More of a free-form rock band that takes sampling and comedic lyrics as their workhorse. The foundation that stands high above the bouncing instrumentation is a sudden reworking of the roots above with branches below. The base of the tree here, is on Who Really Cares where TV Girl commands with a relaxed, but tight fist.
The vaporwave aesthetic bleeds into the overall sound of the 2016 release, where the synth chords are the main focus present from TV Girl. The twin vocalism from both singers holds a deeper grasp on the ambitious styling’s presented. On one end, the sampled vocals that are featured from multiple tracks creating a strange, almost hip-hop end to the framing of each track. Then, there is the sung display that uses lyrics from Brad Petering as the mastermind behind the failures of relationships and ultimately broken sex-lives.
The first instrumental that strikes is “Taking What’s Not Yours” that has a pop-lined chord progression but develops into a subsurface level where the snare and clasps of hi-hats create movement. As a sample of Richard Nixon describes “I’m I-I-I-I’m not a crook,” a sense of warmth overtakes the listener. This is a record that holds love inside, or rather the lack of as it completely falls to a self-deprecating victim. Who Really Cares does act in a genuine manner though and never becomes a self-loathing piece of media, instead the cheerful instrumentation is a perfect contrast and juxtaposition to the often darker themed lyrics.
“I don’t really know if she cares or not. All I know is she left; a lot of stuff in my apartment. She’s never getting back…A copy of Gravity’s Rainbow that she probably didn’t read. How about my Laura Nyro record she probably threw away when she moved?” describes Petering. There is almost the smirking that can be heard through the delivery that is less of a pity-party and more of a laughing against the grain sense of humor. This performance is the glue that holds Who Really Cares together and never seems to allow a falling moment from TV Girl.
The indie-rock glow of purple-neon lights cover the surrounding areas of Who Really Cares, a self-aware almost comedy rock album from TV Girl. The ugliness of relationship is the fuel to the poetic outbursts of just how terrible dating can be, or just how terrible waking up alone can be as an alternative.