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Caroline Weinroth says she read the complaint online somewhere, and she can relate: When women write songs, people just assume the words in those songs are diary entries, the product of their real lives. No one makes the same assumption about men, she says. The thing is, Weinroth, the singer and guitarist for Fairfax pop trio Cinema Hearts, sings the stone cold truth. Mostly.
At first blush, Cinema Heart’s throwback pop sound echoes sentiments seemingly extracted from some decades-old popular music time capsule. “This semester’s so bad/ Classes are such a drag/ I can’t wait ’til break when I’ll be holding your hand,” Weinroth sings on “Daydreaming,” a song from the band’s upcoming LP Feels Like Forever, which includes Weinroth’s brother Erich on bass and James Adelsberger on drums. It’s sugar-sweet teen pop that cozies up tight with the mellow side of Burger Records’ pop-nostalgia-via-DIY catalogue. That’s all part of the plan, Weinroth says. But while many of those Burger Records’ bands embrace that ’60s girl group vibe as musical kitsch, Weinroth and Cinema Hearts deliver their sound with the utmost sincerity. And the songs’ puppy love (or heartbreak) lyrics? They’re just as sincere, she says—with some dramatic tweaks.
“I write about very real experiences,” Weinroth says. But she arrived at Cinema Hearts after years spent in musical theater, and she infuses those theatrical instincts into her lyrics. Her songs are a snapshot of her real life, exaggerated for public consumption. “I guess I just take a dramatic approach to music,” she says. “I’ll take something real and I’ll make it more interesting.”
The ten-song Feels Like Forever is due out on Valentine’s Day—so apropos!—and the trio will play their next gig at Wonderland Ballroom in Columbia Heights on Feb. 5. In the meantime, we’re premiering “Daydreaming,” perhaps the record’s sweetest dose of nostalgic bedroom pop.
Photo by Ethan A. Sahlin