Standout Track: “After Work Drink,” with its galloping overdubbed guitars, toy-piano chimes, and tom-heavy minimal drum patterns. It’s singer/songwriter Erin McCarley’s look at the uncouth audacity of bar testosterone. “Not last call/No, I don’t think so/Not at all,” McCarley clamors.
Musical Motivation: “Hey Girl” is a multimedia project—the seven-inch record serves as a soundtrack for an accompanying comic book drawn by McCarley. The package showcases McCarley’s skill in narrative, songwriting, illustration, and snazzy silk-screening, but she thinks of herself as “definitely more of a musician than a comic artist.” “Some people can just go at these projects in one try, but the drawings really took me a long time,” she says. The dialogue on the album was easier to render: McCarley drew on firsthand experiences and overheard D.C. bar prattle. “There’s definitely bars I go to more than others,” says McCarley. “Black Cat, Galaxy Hut, Pharmacy Bar—places musicians usually hang out.”
Ying Yang Twins: Anyone who bought tickets to next month’s Erin McCarley show at the 9:30 Club expecting to hear tracks from “Hey Girl” is going to be disappointed. That concert is being given by another musician named Erin McCarley, a Nashville-based piano pop-rock singer/songwriter whose music has been featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Although the women share a name and Southern California roots, the similarities pretty much end there. “I’d hope nobody would confuse [us] on the Internet, but she’s not me,” McCarley says. “I think that becomes clearly evident very quickly.”