Brooklyn post-punk trio Household has all the taut, jittery rhythmic propulsion of vintage art-pulsers like LiLiPUT and Delta 5, but the band adds a gorgeous, infectious layer of minor-key harmonies taken from the first wave of ’90s twee. Guitarist Talya Cooper says the twin vocal dynamic between her and drummer Jenna Weiss-Berman sprung from an office friendship where the two fielded technical service phone calls for a nonprofit and chatted about bands like Huggy Bear and Black Tambourine: “I asked her if she wanted to play drums in a band with me while we were, no joke, standing by the water cooler.” Bassist Isabel Freeman joined up, and the three recorded the sardonic Items, an album of two-minute ragers where pop melodies float determinedly over jagged rhythms and clipped, strangled guitars. It’s available now as a $3 BandCamp download, but is due later this fall as a cassette tape (via Wild Isle) and on 12″ vinyl (via Dull Knife). Opening track “Go Away” is blocky and brittle, playing like spiraling twee-pop bubblegum after spending a semester at the Gang Of Four school of rock.
What is “Go Away” about?
What inspired it lyrically?
Some dude. I always write these not-angry-just-disappointed lyrics fully intending to rewrite them to be about sandwiches or something but have never succeeded.
What inspired it musically?
I don’t remember specifically. In general, I try to rip off guitarists like Christina Billotte [of Slant 6] and Rick Froberg [of The Obits] who write dark, simple lines with incredibly effective phrasing.
Can you explain the thinking behind the band name Household?
It made sense because we’re all women, Jenna and Isabel are queer, and thought the name evoked ’70s-commune vibes, family-of-choice, cheesy ’50s images of housewives as c&p’ed in riot grrl zines; it also abbreviates nicely to Hh. When you try to Google it, you mostly find things about some bank and about Desperate Housewives. A blessing and a curse.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played in NYC?
We played a show the Sunday of this year’s particularly momentous Pride Week at the Phoenix on 13th St. with Cat Vet from Philly, Horoscope, and our moonsisters Little Victory. All the bands sounded great, a huge, psyched crowd showed up, and everything felt so joyful. I think there’s still confetti on my amp.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Academy Restaurant in Fort Greene. Nicest people, greatest split pea soup.