12771653_1080558375322850_1930972771421657156_o Diet Cig (photo: Dojozine)

One of the fastest growing sectors of indie-rock in recent years is music by young adults capturing the tension of what it feels like to be a young adult. Early 20-somethings are writing, producing, and performing some of the most exciting music to come out of growing incubators in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. These musicians are giving voice to struggles with insurmountable expectations (both internal and external), intimate commitment, mental illness, and intersectionality — concerns that prove increasingly daunting as you enter the age in which your eyes are most heavily focused on yourself.

Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman, collectively Diet Cig, are from the same crop of artists that write about young adulthood while standing squarely in the center of it. What sets the duo apart from their peers, however, is that their music reflects how your 20s is more than just a time of existential fear, but also one of the most exciting times in your entire lifespan. Luciano acknowledges that she doesn’t own any kitchenware in an apartment she can barely afford, but she also realizes that she can walk around in her underwear at home whenever she wants and that’s pretty damn liberating.

A defining feature of young adulthood is uncertainty. You are expected to be taking steps toward stability while simultaneously entering a time when you have the least accountability to anyone else. No longer are any public spaces restricted to you because of your age, meanwhile everyone around you is suddenly interested in learning about you physically in addition to mentally. It’s a time of possibilities, but even more importantly it’s a time of opportunity: It is a time to try things you’ve always wanted to do and take chances you aren’t expecting to be able to for long.

For Luciano, that freedom empowers her to openly lash out against bullshit around her. “I don’t care” she constantly sighs on “Scene Sick,” the lead single off of last year’s Over Easy EP, taking shots at the Caulfield-esque phonies that populate her social groups. Luciano has no interest in your band, or who you think she is, or any sort of “scene” you identify with — she just wants to dance, and is writing music that makes achieving that goal effortless.

Diet Cig is breezy and playful. Luciano’s guitar playing emphasizes how the chords feel over how they sound; writing down the tablature wouldn’t capture the jubilant swing she infuses in her strumming that is untranscribable in script. Bowman’s drumming is the perfect compliment — driving and direct, but employed with a featherweight touch. Together the duo constructs tight two-minute pop songs that perfectly soundtrack jumping on your first independently purchased mattress. They’ll be turning Bottom of the Hill into one big bounce house on April 16th, so leave your reservations at home and join in.

Diet Cig, Plush, Jay Som
Bottom of the Hill
April 16, 2016
9:30pm, $10

Tags: , , ,