April 4, 2013

LP: Sweet Valley Slumber Party - Virgins

Sweet Valley Slumber Party take on teenage melodrama with full-length Virgins.

If you were like most girls that grew up in the 90s, you probably read most, if not all, of the books in the Sweet Valley High series. For those that didn't – you missed out – but I will sum it up for you: identical twins grow up in Sweet Valley, California, and a lot of stuff happens to them. This guilty pleasure of a series lasts almost a lifetime and is filled with adventure, romance, fantasy, and the likes.  I assume that the name for California-band Sweet Valley Slumber Party is inspired by the book that holds the same title. In the book, the twins have a slumber party where they play games, eat pizza, and stay up late until something inevitably goes wrong (one of the girls loses a toy Unicorn and drama ensues!). Much like the book, this husband-wife duo covers innocent territory in their first full-length album. Lyrics throughout were melancholy but never serious enough to branch beyond high school heartbreak. And to our liking, the band matched their version of melodrama with a sentimental jangle.

"Virgins" in particular made me want to crawl into the jukebox that this surf-pop song sounded like it would be playing out of. Amidst sugar-coated guitar riffs and fuzzy-sweet humming, this track, amongst others, is a lot sadder than it actually sounds with a last verse that yearns "you're gone so long / so right, so wrong." In the same vain, the duo is just as heavy-hearted in two upbeat numbers "I Cried" and "When Love Dies." Even though puppy love might be a silly thing of our past, it's hard to forget how completely life shattering it was at the time. Some of us went through more heartbreak in our teenage years than others but Sweet Valley Slumber Party relates to us all the same. Glimpses of nostalgia are ever so present in "Racing Hearts" and its music video's vintage-esque footage. These tender tracks are the deepest darkest diary entries that we don't want anyone to see and that's why we love them.

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This release is available on cassette via Lollipop Records.

Written by Diana Cirullo