Daily Discovery: Learning “The Odds” with Death Valley Girls

Los Angeles-based indie rock band Death Valley Girls are instantly recognizable. Their sound is unique, all their own, and when it finds you, it climbs into your ears and makes a lovely nest of sonic appreciation.

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The group’s latest single, “What Are The Odds,” does just that. With harmonies that harken to some Middle Eastern spell, the group combines charm with unparalleled talent. The product comes from years of playing, experimenting, and working.

“Since I was a tiny kid, every time I heard any rhythmic pattern, I felt compelled to write a melody on top,” frontwoman Bonnie Bloomgarden tells American Songwriter. “Like a photocopier printing copies, a phone ringing, or a turn signal in carpool on the way to school. Sometimes I would ask if we could keep the turn signal on a while longer, you got to be fast for that kind of writing. Or my personal favorite, the fax machine! When those rhythms start repeating,  I can’t help but try and make something out of it. In fact, I’d like to find a fax machine now and record some songs around it!”

With years of experience to her credit, Bloomgarden has perfected her (and her band’s) sound. She calls it “haunted, yet empowering” and, in doing so, she hits the nail on the proverbial head. The group’s latest single, which portends a new album in February, is about “the continuance of an eternal spirit or soul,” Bloomgarden says.

“We believe pretty strongly in reincarnation,” she says. “But also that we are all one consciousness just experiencing embodiment, like looking through different lenses. Or maybe it’s nothing at all, just a masterfully crafted video game. We’re covering all our bases with this song, just in case.”

The song came about from some jamming, some past pop star inspiration, and the application of the band’s collective imagination on important ideas of invention.

“When we wrote [our single] ‘I’m a Man Too’ for [our album] Glow in the Dark, we were playing around with No Doubt’s ‘I’m Just a Girl’ but reframing it for the future, and for how we felt being treated. In the same way, I wanted to revisit Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ for this [new] song. Is this a material world, an exclusively 3D experience, or a simulation, and are we simulated girls?!”

With the “meta-verse” style of writing, Bloomgarden says the message for listeners is, “Don’t forget to have fun imagining the possibilities of how we are all connected, and the mysteries of the universe.”

To wit, she says, her favorite line in the track goes: I bet they’ll never know / they’ll never know / If deja vu already happened to you / Or if it’s just a future you talking to you!

And why, exactly?

“We noticed heightened experiences of Deja Vu on certain tours that coincided with uncanny synchronicities,” Bloomgarden says. “So, at some point, we Googled its causes. I highly recommend y’all Google Deja Vu and go down the rabbit hole of the various ideas behind the phenomenon, scientific and otherwise, it’s amazing! Great way to spend a few hours.”

Photo by Neto Velasco / Suicide Squeeze

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