Lydia Night, lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the L.A. garage-pop band the Regrettes, has discovered that their song “A Living Human Girl” has touched fans in a very profound way.
“We’ve gotten everything from someone saying that it helped them with their depression or their eating disorder to it just gives them confidence,” Night says. “They start their day with that song. It all revolves around the self-love aspect.”
It would be hard not to feel good about yourself after listening to the song. The song celebrates the physical “flaws” that we all have (“I’ve got pimples on my face and grease in my hair”) while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of things besides physical beauty. In other words, in today’s physical-appearance-obsessed culture, it’s revolutionary.
“When you’re constantly being fed photos of models and people with unrealistic body types, it’s really damaging,” Night says. “It skews the way you feel and what your values might be—valuing the way you look over the way you think or how smart you are.”
The song comes off of last year’s Feel Your Feelings Fool, which has some heavy songs like “A Living Human Girl,” but also has some simple, light-hearted ones like “Hey Now,” which is about a crush.
“I don’t think every little feeling has to be some super specific metaphorical thing with a lot of layers to it,” Night says. “‘Hey Now’ is a very simple song, and it’s simple for a reason because it’s a simple feeling. And it’s something that everyone goes through.”
The band says they decided on the album’s title not only as a theme that runs through each song, but also as a call to action of sorts.
“It’s all over the place feeling-wise,” Night says of Feel Your Feelings, Fool. “Expressing emotions in general is something that’s so tricky. It’s so hard for everyone. No one wants to admit how they’re really feeling a lot of the time. I think it’s about us learning about that process and learning how to be more vulnerable with our feelings and taking it to wanting to help other people experience that and get through that stuff.”
Night, who’s still in her teens, has an extraordinary knack for vocalizing a wide range of emotions. She says that her music is like a diary entry of her life.
“I’m an open book,” Night says. “I’m very open with that stuff, but it’s kind of strange when I really do think about the fact that, wow, my life is kind of out there for everyone to see.”
She’s in a unique position, too, because she’s closer to the age of her fans than a lot of the performers out there that are writing the music teens are consuming.
“I draw from a super personal place in all of my music,” Night says. “It’s all the shit that I’m going through at the age that I’m going through it. I’m not pretending to be a different age or pretending to be someone that I’m not.”
The group got signed by Warner Bros. back when Night was still in high school. The band had also only recently formed.
She was never opposed to working with big labels—she wants her music to reach as many people as possible. But it was a surprise that she was taken out of class on a Wednesday to have a meeting with a label exec.
“It moves at a fast pace, like every night we’re somewhere different, and I’m so involved in it that I don’t really see how crazy it is,” Night says. “When I’m home, I’ll kind of look at it and I’m like, ‘oh shit, my life is not a normal teenager’s life. It’s just not. It’s not normal.”
The group just released an EP, Attention Seeker, to tide fans over as they wait for the follow-up to Feel Your Feelings Fool. They hope to go into the studio soon to start recording tracks for their second album.
The Regrettes plays at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, at the Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $12. 429-6994.
Update 03/14/2018 12:39 p.m.: A previous version of this story included the wrong venue. The Regrettes are performing at the Crepe Place.