Gin & Tillyanna
Tough, defiant, vulnerable... these are words that come to mind when describing the music of Jodi Birenbaum and her fine band Gin & Tillyanna.
Especially when considering her lyrics and vocal delivery, comparisons to Chrissie Hynde and Pat Benatar are inevitable, but Birenbaum brings something more empowered to the table. She still exhibits vulnerability, but her apparent self-confidence and lack of real or imagined injury comes out strong in her performance. When Hynde sings "you showed me what that hole was for" with bravado, there's that hint of resignation in her voice - you know she's singing about being on the receiving end of an abusive relationship. When Birenbaum sings about "tough love" the love is almost certainly tougher on the other person. Perhaps she's tapping into the strides that women rockers have made in the past twenty-five years, exemplified by the likes of Liz Phair and Sleater/Kinner, a couple more comparisons (Phair in particular) that hint at what you're in store for with Gin & Tillyanna.
The band are all about a utilitarian, four-to-the-floor driving rhythm section woven with the taut guitar lines of Dave Birenbaum (Hammerbox) that recall the rockabilly leanings of X, driven by that band's stoic guitarist Billy Zoom, but with more of the rock and less of the billy. A perfect backdrop for Jodi's voice, lyrics and attitude.
Gin & Tillyanna are:
Jodi Birenbaum - vocals, guitar
Dave Birenbaum - guitar, backing vox
Myles Eberlein - bass
Max Tucker - drums