Tomboi, a local super group comprised of Alex.E (Wild Life Society, Ritual Union, Fruit Machine) on Vox, beat production, and sound sequencing. Paige McMullen (Universal Green, RICE) on guitar and Summer Wood (Four Families) on drums premiered their video for the single “Lobos” on January 10th at Underbelly. The self-proclaimed all-female, all-queer, electronic indie trio debuted “Lobos” a charmingly campy homage to the 1990’s, on the one year anniversary of the bands formation. The video directed by Keagan Anfuso, and shot entirely in Jacksonville features the band as master thieves wearing moustaches and black suits with black ties, engaged in a mysterious heist in the vein of early Tarantino. The hard driving electronic rock song that accompanies the video I discovered draws from deeper wells of inspiration. The opening lyrics “lookin’ at you, lookin at me And we’re on the edge of the woods, Where the wolves do creep…” reach out like a hand in the dark, as the baseline thumps and the guitar and synth sounds blend into an expertly arranged explosion of sound that had the packed venue rocking.
After the video, the band in the same black suits and moustaches emerged from the side stage to raucous applause, and after a brief thanks, Alex E. offered congratulations to all the newlyweds who had hours earlier been married in a mass same-sex couple wedding ceremony at nearby Hemming Plaza. The crowd again erupted in cheers which carried the band into their first song. The performance that followed was nothing short of terrific. After watching the video a few more times in the days that followed I decided to reach out to Alex E because I was intrigued by the lyrics sampled above. The answers she would give turned out to be quite illuminating, “ I just kept thinking about these two deer, standing on the edge of the woods, and in the adjacent field they will find food, but the exposure will surely invite predators” she continued, “the song is a warning to young women of the dangers that permeate their lives. I want all young women to know that even when their guard is down, the threat remains, and each must be responsible for protecting themselves.”
I followed up by asking her what it means to self-identify as an all-queer band. “We call ourselves that because we want to own it. We want young people in particular to know it’s okay to be queer, we want to write songs about dating women from a woman’s perspective. We want young girls to know their opinions are valid, no matter their age.” Alex went on to credit the work of GirlsRockJacksonville a collective of volunteers who value the power of music as a force for personal and social change. The band works with GirlsRockJacksonville, giving music lessons and guidance to the communities’ young women.
I hope to sit down with the Alex E and the rest of Tomboi in the near future for there is still so much of their story that needs to be heard. In the meantime do yourself a favor and watch the ”Lobos” video and then go catch them live.
Tomboi will perform Feb. 25 at 1904 Music Hall with Boyfriend and Heavy Flow. Get more info at http://www.bandsintown.com/Tomboi?came_from=90