Getting to know Seattle indie quartet Tacocat

Photo: Helen Moga / Courtesy
Annie Zaleski

Who: Palindromic, Seattle-based indie act Tacocat (yeah, the name’s the same forward and back) coalesced in 2007 after a series of serendipitous meetings. Guitarist Eric Randall and drummer Lelah Maupin became friends while both worked at Safeway, the latter met vocalist Emily Nokes in a graphic design class and Nokes clicked with bassist Bree McKenna while hanging out at famed Seattle venue the Comet Tavern. Gigs at parties and clubs followed, as did a record deal with Hardly Art.

Sound and vision: Tacocat self-describes as “Go-Go’s meets The Monkees. Kurt meets Courtney,” and it’s actually pretty comprehensive description. The band draws influence from harmony-drenched power-pop, brisk surf-punk, and ’90s alternative bubblegum-grunge, with relatable, straightforward lyrics about what it means to live and love in this turbulent world. After releasing two albums on Hardly Art, Tacocat jumped to sister label Sub Pop for 2019 full-length This Mess Is a Place, which boasts slightly more polished production values to go with the group’s usual abundance of sticky melodies and smart sentiments.

Pop-culture connections: The leadoff track on Tacocat’s 2016 album Lost Time is titled “Dana Katherine Scully,” an ode to The X-Files’ indomitable investigator. That that same year, the band recorded the theme song “Who’s Got the Power” for The Powerpuff Girls reboot, a song Nokes described to The Quietus as sounding “like Tacocat in a video game.” And according to an old bio, McKenna’s riot grrrl entry came (in part) with the film 10 Things I Hate About You.

The latest: On Halloween 2019, Tacocat released stand-alone single “Retrograde,” a slightly ominous surf-rock tune about Mercury retrograde. The band has toured with AJJ and Emperor X already this year.

For your playlist: “Little Friend,” “Crimson Wave,” “Bridge to Hawaii,” “I Hate the Weekend,” “Hologram.”

TACOCAT February 13, 9 p.m., $15. Bunkhouse Saloon, 702-982-1764.

Tags: Music, Bunkhouse
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