The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
Girlyman 7 p.m. Sunday Performing Arts Studio 200 S. Jones, Norman pasnorman.org 307-9320 $20
Given the silly name and bright, Simon & Garfunkel-inspired harmonies, Brooklyn folk-rock act Girlyman sounds like it was born out of a happy place. The thing is, it wasn’t.
“Our first rehearsal was scheduled for Sept. 11. We were putting together press kits and complaining about how crappy doing it was … what an upstream battle it was getting your name out there,” said singer and guitarist Doris Muramatsu, describing that day in 2001. “Then it happened. For all of us, it was a wake-up call, and music felt like a necessity. It felt like something we needed just to experience joy again, and there was no doubt in our minds that being in this band was what our calling was.”
Those events not only gave an urgency to the band, but also a light undertone, stemming from the perspective rewarded in 9/11’s aftermath, and manifesting itself in the tongue-in-cheek moniker.
“You realized not to take things so seriously. We knew just to do it for the fun and joy of it,” said drummer JJ Jones, formerly of Po’ Girl.
Audiences at Sunday’s show in Norman will witness how that approach has taken Girlyman from playing to handfuls in coffee shops for a $12 payday to supporting Indigo Girls on tour and having a music video directed by comedian Margaret Cho.
The momentum nearly came to a halt when Muramatsu was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2010.
“We thought that was it. No more touring, no more recording,” she said.
“I found out it was a treatable form, but it was challenging even still through my recovery. I couldn’t see how we were going to make another album, but we did.”
With cancer in remission, Girlyman recorded the soon-to-be-released “Supernova.”
“It’s a dying star,” Jones said. “They give birth to new stars in the energy they shoot out, and that made so much sense this year, because it felt like something was dying, but then there was a whole new wave of transformation and hope that came out of it. The whole record really reflects that.”
Not coincidentally, the disc is Girlyman’s loudest and liveliest to date.
“It’s not a folky sound. It’s a full, rock sound,” she said. “It was like, ‘Wow, we’ve really changed.’”