New Jersey's self-proclaimed bitch rockers, Little Hag, have released Leash via Bar/None Records. The band said the album came together in between night classes, bartending shifts, first kisses, last kisses, shitty gigs, karaoke nights and all the emptiness of the quarantine that came after.
Little Hag is Mandeville (she/her) on guitar and complaining, Matt Fernicola (he/him) on lead guitar, Owen Flanagan (he/him) on drums, Chris Dubrow (he/him) on bass, and Noah Rauchwerk (he/him) on keys and emotional support.
On the record, Mandeville shares, “It’s a sarcastic but seriously cynical pop rock soundtrack for the dropouts and the disappointments; for that moment when your head hits the pillow and you relive your every shortcoming and mistake.”
Fans can stream the album in its entirety now at this link.
Leash calls out familiar themes of abusive men, stalking social media, and reckless driving. Something is holding a defeated and nostalgic Mandeville hostage, tethered to her misanthropic perspective. But she’s not wrong in her grievances; men are disgusting, women are beautiful, fear is paralyzing and death is imminent. Time to face it.
Mandeville and producer Erik Kase Romero (The Front Bottoms, Deal Casino) began testing the waters of this record together in 2018 with “My Last Name,” a stripped down and sentimental ode to the memories that derail us. Things only get louder from there, with tracks like the fuzzy, complaint laden “The Whole World” and the brutal rocker about killing before being killed, “Brass Knuckle Keychain.” The washed out arrangements on “Cherry” and twinkling piano on “Schlub” carry the heavy emotional weight of the record; traversing the hoops we jump through and the traps we fall for in love and lust. Mandeville’s intense vibrato sharpens the impact every time, with a poignancy evocative of Adrianne Lenker and Sharon van Etten. Little Hag wear their many flaws with pride, dressing up their baggage and taking it out for a night on the town.
Little Hag’s visuals are brash enough to match their sonic energy. The bizarre and bold video for "Get Real!" features a whole lot of dancing and green screen madness, and "Cherry" walks the line of sincerity and sarcasm via an exploration into a past relationship with an unlikely star.
Signed by the Hoboken label just before the shut down, Little Hag emerged in 2020 with “Tetris,” a 2 minute slice of pure pop pugnaciousness. A compilation LP titled Whatever Happened To Avery Jane? followed, chronicling Avery’s many pleasures and pains, and made a splash on college radio and commercial specialty shows. The brash feminist anthem “Get Real!” kicked off summer 2021 with a bang, calling out shitty club promoters and venue owners for their casual and internalized sexism.
The release of the full length album ‘Leash’ follows the release of a 3 track EP called ‘Breakfast’ - an unholy trinity of tracks that are sure to make you squirm. Named after the band’s favorite bodily fluids, “Blood,” “Cum,” and “Piss” are now streaming here.
‘Breakfast’ erased any polite image Little Hag might have had left, harnessing every last drop of taboo and discomfort to chew up and spit out three unique stories from three different times in frontwoman Avery Mandeville’s life. A pregnancy scare, a nasty old pervert, and a battle with chronic illness are fodder to help us laugh through the pain until we learn to make the pain our bitch.
“Piss” chronicles Mandeville’s clash with the healthcare system and the human body, both of which failed her hardcore in 2020 and 2021. The video, shot and edited by Mandeville, walks us through all the time spent in bathrooms as she struggles with undiagnosed and untreated chronic pelvic pain, no longer able to fake smiles for the comfort of others. Dismissive doctors and debilitating pain drive Mandeville to her limits, but she finds solace in venting about it with Little Hag’s trademark brand of brutal sarcasm.
Passion of the Weiss calls Little Hag “…a thrilling songwriter, untethered from time and place, sending DMs and shade, not greetings, from Asbury Park.”
1) The Whole World
6) My Last Name
7) Get Real!
8) Brass Knuckle Keychain
10) Devil’s Dishes
11) Wet Brain
PHOTO BY DANA YURCISIN