Here’s a short thing I originally wrote for WNYC’s Soundcheck about the Brooklyn band all boy/all girl’s song “OK Poncho.”
In just two minutes, all boy/all girl’s “OK Poncho” will leave you thoroughly charmed. Built around the crisp, slightly discordant strumming of a ukulele, a swinging ostinato line that walks up and down the bass neck, and the dry shuffle of brushes on a snare, the song — a new bonus track on the band’s recent EP, Trophy — feels transported out of an earlier era.
That timelessness is the result of the musical bonafides of the Philly-turned-New York band’s creative core: singer and uke player Danielle Lovier was a musical theatre major with a hardcore and punk past; bassist Nicholas Rahn has a love for more far-reaching, experimental sounds. But together, Lovier and Rahn’s exuberant and bittersweet songs clearly have a flair for lush orchestral embellishments and jazz-inflected harmonies that enliven the typical pop structure.
Now a seven member ensemble — including vocalist Jessie Rogowski, guitarist Joshua Curry, drummer Joey Campanella, with Hannah Levinson on viola and Richard Vaudrey on cello — all boy/all girl is capable of making its melodies soar. Yet unlike many similarly sprawling chamber pop groups such as The Family Crest or San Fermin, both of which build to majestic cinematic peaks, all boy/all girl songs remain intricate and intimate. That’s especially true in “OK Poncho,” as Lovier sings “I’m gonna be late / should you have to go, my number’s on the fridge,” amid some fine interplay between the guitars and swooning strings. It’s a unique and winning sound that showcases all boy/all girl’s burgeoning talent.