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Standout Track: No. 1, “Absent Minds,” the distortion-scorched opener from grungy punks Mary Christ’s forthcoming self-titled 7-inch. The release, driven by Diana Vashti’s Bleach-y power-chord assault and Alex Deebee’s anguished, in-the-red vocals, takes its ’90s nostalgia with a dash of DIY grit. “We want to sound like the bands we grew up listening to that weren’t necessarily underground,” says drummer Megan Hynes, “and then add in some punk ethos.”

Musical Motivation: Deebee says the song is “about becoming estranged from a parent. And in some ways expressing frustration about it, and in other ways expressing worry that you’re finding the same patterns within yourself that you saw in them.” Deebee’s lyrics are frank and unguarded; other Mary Christ songs confront issues like sexual assault, misogyny, and “a lot of other stuff that can be painful to talk about.” Even when it’s hard to discern her exact words, Deebee’s vocals pulse with raw emotion. “It’s definitely supposed to sound angry,” she says.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job: When Mary Christ formed late last year, Hynes and Deebee—who both work at the same reproductive justice nonprofit—kept the project quiet from their co-workers while they were still honing their sound. In April, though, things changed when they were invited to open Ted Leo’s Tyranny of Distance show at the Black Cat. They were elated, but the high-profile gig finally blew their cover. “Some people from our office were coming to that show,” Hynes says. “At that point it seemed weird not to tell them we were in the opening band.”