Coping Skills | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
The Key Studio Sessions: Coping Skills
Philly’s Coping Skills need to start a podcast. Sure, Rachel Dispenza and Lauren DeLucca write fantastic punk / indiepop songs that are witty, catchy, humorous-yet-poignant, addressing issues that range from the college industrial complex and the mid-20s crash to gender roles and sexism; their self-released Relatable Web Content was a brilliant debut that not enough people talked about last year.
But the incredible chemistry heard on their songs carries over to Coping Skills as people. Being in the studio with them for a few hours earlier this month was wildly fun; even when they’re not technically “on,” Dispenza and DeLucca have a remarkable conversational rhythm, fast-paced and funny, building on one another’s thoughts, making cutting observations about gigs and touring and working in the service industry.
I mention how I almost wish the chatter was being recorded in addition to the songs; I said I could totally hang with an hour of Coping Skills in podcast form. They nodded, seemingly digging the suggestion. “That would be the longest con!” Dispenza shouts, grinning widely. “‘You thought you liked us for this music thing, but what about this…'” I’m not sure if a seed was actually successfully planted here, but if Coping Skills: The Podcast does emerge, we will be the first to let you know. Meantime, their music alone is stellar, and we’re glad to showcase a couple new songs for you in the band’s Key Studio Session.[vuhaus category=”videos” item=”coping-skills-bagel-fruit-water-the-key-studio-session” ][/vuhaus]
“Bagel, Fruit, Water,” which you can watch them perform in the above VuHaus video, is a gnarly minute-and-change jammer about introversion and isolation, feelings of diminished comfort and a fear of intimacy due to the whole People Are Awful thing. Another new song, “Simmering,” does what its title implies, starting low and kicking in big time care of DeLucca and Dispenza’s longtime drumming collaborator Sam Becht.
Coping Skills also performed two songs from Relatable WebContent — which, side note, is a brilliantly sardonic title considering how much art / journalism / design / media studies college students circa 2017 are having the importance of #content being relentlessly foisted upon them. They lash out in a super lively performance of “Drop Out Of College,” and you’ll totally relate (heh). Also in the mix is “We Bury Our Dead Alive,” a beautiful jangle-pop song about mortality.
Listen to the session below, and grab a free download via Soundcloud. Next month, Coping Skills heads out on a two-week summer tour beginning on June 13th in Cape May, New Jersey. Get the full dates in the flyer below.