“Hope you stick around, because m album is about to be born and I am about to go off my parents’ health insurance,” Illuminati Hotties frontwoman and songwriter Sarah Tudzin said towards the end of their set Thursday night at The Satellite.
Tudzin and her bandmates, friends, and family were gathered at the Silverlake venue to celebrate the release of their debut full-length record Kiss Yr Frenemies, which dropped at midnight that night via Tiny Engines.
I first met Tudzin backstage at Music Tastes Good Festival in Long Beach last year and found her to be a charming and interesting person. She brought one of the cool art installations to the festival.
When she told me about her band, I checked out what she had released at the time and was immediately enamored by the lo-fi garage sound of her Illuminati Hotties project. It immediately made me think of the very early lo-fi sounds of Death Cab for Cutie, combined with early Weezer.
The single “(You’re Better) Than Ever” is one of the heavier tracks and one of the first that caught my attention. The crowd danced and bobbed their heads as Tudzin’s Meiko-like vocals floated over fuzzy instrumentals. The show was made extra special by some accompanying trumpet and violin from two friends of Tudzin on a handful of tracks.
The band played in front of a video screen that seemed to be playing home movies of some sort. For Tudzin, it was a family affair as she said her mom had brought cupcakes to the show and much of the rest of her family was in attendance.
There’s a certain fragility to Tudzin’s vocals that mirrors the sentimentality of her songwriting — especially on slower-tempo jams like “Cuff”, which is where I got my most early-Weezer vibes.
“Are you still thinking about me? I know you are but I still wonder,” she sings on “Shape of My Hands”. Tudzin revs up the most mundane things like shopping at 7-Eleven and getting holes in her socks.
The Los Angeles music scene is obviously one of the best in the country and the world, and Illuminati Hotties are certainly a local band worth keeping your eye on. Listen to Kiss Yr Frenemies here!
Photos by Tim Aarons