The Ophelias Beckon Listeners to Relax and Reminisce About What “Almost” Was
Members choose #theophelias to receive their newest album “Almost” on beautiful, sea-glass green vinyl
Who are they?
The Ophelias are made up of friends Spencer Peppet, Grace Weir, Andrea Gutmann-Fuentes, and Micaela Adams, all hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio. The group shared a few things in common right off the bat. First off, they’re all girls and while that doesn’t — or shouldn’t — matter, it’s a big reason as to why the talented musicians came together. After being in other bands, the four commiserated over being the dreaded only girl in the bands they were in. Thus, the Ophelias were born and have been kickin’ ass since 2015.
The name “Ophelia” has an interesting connotation. Though the name itself is soft and sweet, it comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in which Ophelia is famously driven insane after Hamlet accidentally kills her father. Super relatable content! Though the band doesn’t deal with tragedy that dark, the album is a collection of mostly somber, melancholy tunes masquerading as quirky, art rock.
Why?’s own Yoni Wolf recorded and produced the ten-track self described “nature punk” album. If you’re familiar with Why? you’ll easily catch on to the similarities from the production to the unconventional instrumentals to the layered, fresh approach to lo-fi pop. The Ophelias are a gem in a sea full of play-by-the-book, traditional indie bands and Almost justifies their inevitable rise in the ranks.
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The Ophelia’s Almost perfectly encapsulates the feeling of being a young woman navigating adulthood. The word “almost” is symbolic in itself representing the looming fear of not being good enough or the universal tease of thinking you’ve hit adulthood (whatever that is), but you hit a roadblock. Or should I say the roadblock hits you. I suppose it’s similar to the chicken or the egg thing.
Upon first listen, vocalist Spencer Peppet reminded me of the eccentric and tragic Judee Sill. The two have a set of pipes that are both haunting and delicate. The voice lends itself as a vessel for storytelling rather than working as the focal point of the group.
Each member of the band has an important role that helps separate the Ophelias from their peers. Grace Weir’s bass feels like a brisk walk on a foggy Sunday morning. The drumming of Micaela Adams is chaotic yet collected, similar to the topsy-turvy-ness, failures, and triumphs of growing up. Spencer Peppet’s sometimes monotone and slightly indifferent vocals capture the disillusionment of becoming an adult. Finally, Andrea Gutmann-Fuentes’ violin adds texture and personality to each track. In one moment, the violin works to further the ominous atmosphere of a theme while in the next, it breathes nostalgic tenderness into a song, beckoning listeners to relax and reminisce.
One of best moments of candid lyricism on the record. “We can hang out when you’re out of the hospital.”
“Moon Like Sour Candy”
Narrates the tribulations of trying to salvage a relationship that’s headed south.
VNYL members can self-select #theophelias as 1 of their 3 vinyl records this month. Click here to join.