Supercute!

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This article is about the band Supercute!. For the musician Prince's song, see Supercute.
SUPERCUTE!
Supercute Rachel Julia Talent Show Littlefields 053012.jpg
Supercute's Rachel Trachtenburg (left) and Julia Cumming (right) at the "Talent Show" at Brooklyn's Littlefield venue, May 30, 2012
Background information
Origin New York City, Brooklyn, New York
Genres Indie pop, Psychedelic pop, Anti-folk
Years active 2009 (2009)—2013
Associated acts Kate Nash, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, San Cisco, Care Bears on Fire, R. Stevie Moore, Terry Tinsel
Website supercute.bandcamp.com
Past members Rachel Trachtenburg
Julia Cumming
Ruby Tanja
LuLu Laurette Prat
June Lei
Olivia Ferrer
Delilah Brierley
Jacqueline Russo
Heather Boo
Rosie Slater

Supercute! was an American indie teen-pop band/project from New York City that was primarily led by its founder Rachel Trachtenburg along with co-founder Julia Cumming. The band had acquired notable press attention and toured several times in the U.S. and Europe with English singer-songwriter Kate Nash. Trachtenburg described the band's unique sound as "psychedelic-indie-bubblegum".[1] In a 2011 profile for Nylon Magazine, Cumming called Supercute's songs "ukelele rock operas", while Nash was quoted as saying "it's the smartest pop you’ve heard in years. It’s candy-colored, girly and fierce, political and intelligent, innocent yet wise." "We want to change the world," Trachtenburg added.[2]

Rachel has been an outspoken political activist from an early age, remarkably addressing the New York City Council at age 14 in 2008 to protest against Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s rewriting of the city’s mayoral term-limits law,[3] and both she and Julia have been actively involved with protests on behalf of Slutwalk NYC, in favor of vegetarianism, and against the mistreatment of Central Park's carriage horses. From 2011 through 2013, the pair started co-hosting an Internet talk radio show named Pure Imagination on the Progressive Radio Network about politics, art and music that was aimed primarily at fellow teens.[4]

Supercute! went on an indefinite hiatus in late 2013 to pursue other projects and interests. Cumming currently plays bass, sings and composes with Sunflower Bean,[5] while Trachtenburg plays drums in The Prettiots[6] while also writing and performing music on her own.[7] Both women also maintain successful modeling careers: Trachtenburg is signed with Elite Model Management,[8] while Cumming works with the Marilyn Agency.[9] Cumming has also modeled exclusively for Yves Saint Laurent (brand).[10]

History[edit]

Rachel Sage Piña-Trachtenburg (born December 10, 1993), the daughter of Jason and Tina Piña Trachtenburg, first started playing the drums for her family band (The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players) at the age of 6.[11] Growing up initially in Seattle and then in the East Village, Manhattan, Rachel first met Julia Rachel Cumming (born January 16, 1996[12]) in 2003. Julia is the daughter of Alec Cumming, a longtime friend of and occasional bassist for the Trachtenburgs, and Cynthia Harden, a noted epileptologist.[13] Alec and Cynthia's band Bite The Wax Godhead was active in the New York music scene of the early-to-mid 1990's.[14] Trachtenburg and Cumming became close friends and fellow young entrepreneurs, often selling lemonade, hot chocolate, popcorn and chai together in front of Rachel’s East Village, Manhattan apartment building.[15]

Rachel long had dreams of creating her own all female band when she got older, a project that family friend Kate Nash (a popular UK-based singer/songwriter who had first toured with the Trachtenburg Family in 2008) particularly encouraged. In the summer of 2009, Trachtenburg enlisted Cumming and June Lei, who had been best friends since the second grade at Manhattan’s PS 40, to form a group. They debuted as The OMG Girls,[16] but the name was quickly changed to Supercute!, and in short order they gained positive reviews for their appearance at the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon [17] and began to play all-ages performances with friends and fellow teen performers Care Bears on Fire and Nat & Alex Wolff at Cake Shop NYC and other local venues.[18] The New York Times praised the band for its “tidy, clever bubblegum pop” with “pop instincts as finely honed as Mr. [Nick] Jonas’s”.[19] The early Supercute! era featured a more acoustic, quirky, "anti-folk" sound, with Trachtenburg on ukulele, Cumming on ukulele and acoustic guitar and Lei on keyboards. The three were especially noted for their homemade space-age outfits, on-stage hula-hooping, and witty cover choices (Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop[20] and Pink Floyd’s “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”, amongst others).

In 2010, Supercute! frequently appeared at comedy/performance art shows as well as rock venues, and gained positive notices for their music video "Not To Write About Boys",[21] featuring their friend and fellow teen performer Jack Skuller.[22] They toured later that year with Kate Nash in both the U.S. and Europe,[1] and created a stir busking on Ludlow Street in New York's Lower East Side during the 2010 CMJ Conference.[23] By the end of the year, Lei left the band to concentrate on her high school studies, and Supercute! became a duo project of Trachtenburg's and Cumming’s. Olivia Ferrer, daughter of Guns N' Roses drummer Frank Ferrer, performed extensively with the band throughout 2011 and into 2012 on keyboards and bass, making her live debut as the girls busked the 2011 SXSW festival.[24] Olivia appeared with Rachel and Julia on a video for “Paint It Black”,[25] as well as on the band's later videos. Delilah Brierley, then a resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, also began to make appearances as an alternate Supercute! member at the time.[26] But Ferrer and her family found the demands of frequent commutes into New York City from suburban New Jersey increasingly difficult to manage; Brierley, meanwhile, returned to her native England in 2012. Jacqueline Russo served as the band's live drummer in 2012 and bassist Heather Boo[27] joined briefly in early 2013.

Supercute! recorded a song, "Superrookie!", for the September 2011 debut of Tavi Gevinson's online magazine, Rookie,[28] which was later released as a flexi disc accompanying the 2012 Drawn and Quarterly book release of Rookie Yearbook One.[29] Gevinson's attitude towards encouraging independent thinking, style and creativity within adolescent girls fit in well with the Supercute! worldview, and the band and magazine maintained a fruitful alliance.[30][31] Later that year, Trachtenburg and Cumming recorded a full album in London, DON’T PoP MY BUBBLE!, produced by Kate Nash. Only two songs have been released from these sessions -- “DumbDumbs” and “LoveLoveLeaveLove”, both of which were made into music videos. The former featured cameos of Nash, Reverend Jen, and Andrew W.K.,[32] while the latter was premiered by Teen Vogue.[33] The lyrics of “LoveLoveLeaveLove” showed off Rachel and Julia’s deep love and respect for Classic Rock performers of the past; at one point the two created a Glam rock cover band (Terry Tinsel) [34] largely as an homage to the controversial Gary Glitter. ("LoveLoveLeaveLove" deftly addresses the dilemma of being a Glitter fan: "Now, Gary Glitter, you creep, you perv/Does your music outweigh the time you serve?/We separate the talent, the man/Accepting that you're the greatest of glam".[35])

To help perform the darker and more intricate DON’T PoP MY BUBBLE! material in a live setting, Trachtenburg and Cumming recruited bassist/vocalist Lulu Laurette Prat (formerly of the band Care Bears on Fire) and drummer Ruby Tanja to join them for their 10-city March 2013 Northeast U.S. tour opening for Kate Nash.[36] Later in the year, drummer Rosie Slater (who has played percussion for Darlene Love, Lesley Gore as well as for her own band New Myths [37]) sat in as an alternate for Tanja when the band opened up for San Cisco in the summer of 2013.[38] But Supercute! split up for good in the fall, as the band pursued other interests and projects. Cumming told i-D Magazine “Supercute! was the first band I was involved with. It was with my longtime friend Rachel Trachtenburg; I joined that band when I was 14 and she was 16. It was Rachel's baby, but it ended up as a partnership. We did cool things, we were given a lot of different opportunities…We had a lot of ambition and we were really trying to do something.” [39]

In late 2013, Rachel Trachtenburg and Lulu Laurette Prat teamed up Kay Kasparhauser to form The Prettiots,[40] a ukulele-led trio that made a big splash at 2015’s SXSW festival.[41] SXSW's preview website proclaimed "With effervescent melodies faultlessly combined with colorfully upfront dialogue, The Prettiots paint an exceptionally vivid portrait of what it’s like to be young and living in New York City." [42] Meanwhile, Julia Cumming joined with guitarist Nick Kivlen (of the band Turnip King) and drummer Jacob Faber to create Sunflower Bean,[43] a “night music” trio the New York Times’ Jon Pareles described as “…what might have happened if psychedelia had emerged after punk and the Police rather than before”.[44] Plans for a full release of DON'T PoP MY BUBBLE! are still uncertain, but Supercute's legacy as both an innovative band and feminist-art project seems worthy of note. "I think Supercute! is about being yourself, and breaking rules, and art and music," Trachtenburg told the Village Voice in 2010. "And I think Supercute! is also about being goofy and just having fun with fashion. You have to stick to what you are, and be true to that." [45]

Members[edit]

  • Rachel Trachtenburg – ukelele, drum pad, vocals
  • Julia Cumming – guitar, ukelele, bass, keyboards, vocals
  • June Lei – keyboards, ukelele, vocals (2009–10)
  • Olivia Ferrer – keyboards, bass, backing vocals (2010–11)
  • Delilah Brierley - keyboards, backing vocals (2011-2)
  • Heather Boo – bass (2011, 2013)
  • Jacqueline Russo – drums (2011-2)
  • LuLu Laurette Prat – bass, backing vocals (2012-3)
  • Ruby Tanja – drums (2012-3)
  • Rosie Slater– drums (2013)

Discography[edit]

Supercute! discography
Releases
Studio albums 1 (unreleased)
EPs 1
Singles 1
Music videos 5

EPs[edit]

  • SUPERCUTE! (2010)
  1. "Candy City"
  2. "Not To Write About Boys"
  3. "Haunted Hostel"
  4. "Misty Mountain Hop" (Led Zeppelin cover)
  5. "Hula Hoop Song"
  6. "SUPERCUTE!"
SUPERCUTE!
EP by Supercute!
Released 2010
Recorded 2009-2010
Genre
Alternate cover
Hard copies of the EP featured homemade covers. Each copy of the cover was individually drawn.
Label Self-released
Supercute! chronology
SUPERCUTE!
(2010)
DON'T PoP MY BUBBLE (2012 - unreleased)

Albums[edit]

DON’T PoP MY BUBBLE!
Studio album by Supercute!
Released TBA
Recorded 2011-2012
Genre Indie pop, anti-folk, psychedelic pop
Producer Kate Nash
Supercute! chronology
SUPERCUTE!
(2010)
DON'T PoP MY BUBBLE
(2012 - Unreleased)
LoveLoveLeaveLove/ DumbDumbs
(2015)
  • DON’T PoP MY BUBBLE! (recorded 2011-2, release date: TBA)
  1. "LoveLoveLeaveLove"
  2. "Assked"
  3. "I Do"
  4. "Cat Call"
  5. "4 Hands"
  6. "Daisy My Dear"
  7. "Candy City"
  8. "Dreamsicle"
  9. "Pigeon City"
  10. "Imagination"
  11. "Salmonella"
  12. "DumbDumbs"

Flexidisc[edit]

Supercute!'s "Superrookie!" and the Dum Dum Girls' "I Don't Care" were included on a "Rookie Tunes" flexidisc in Rookie Yearbook One, a book edited by Tavi Gevinson and published by Drawn & Quarterly in 2012 [isbn 978-1-77046-112-3].[46]

Single[edit]

"LoveLoveLeaveLove" b/w "DumbDumbs" (2015 - released via Bandcamp) [47]

LoveLoveLeaveLove/DumbDumbs
single by Supercute!
Released 2015
Recorded 2011-2012
Genre
Label Bandcamp
Producer Kate Nash
Supercute! chronology
DON'T PoP MY BUBBLE (2012 - unreleased) LoveLoveLeaveLove/ DumbDumbs
(2015)

Other songs[edit]

Videos[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Interview: SUPERCUTE!. Grrrl Beat, November 13, 2012. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  2. ^ William Goodman, "Sweet Talk", Nylon Magazine, October 2011 issue, pps. 122-123.
  3. ^ Passions High on Term Limits in City Council. The New York Times, October 17, 2008. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  4. ^ Pure Imagination. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  5. ^ Julia Cumming, Teenage Model and Rocker. The New York Times, April 10, 2015. Retrieved on 2014-04-14.
  6. ^ The Prettiots-Boys (I Dated In Highschool). 'YouTube, Sep 2, 2014. Retrieved on 2015-04-12.
  7. ^ Rachel Trachtenburg - I Like To Be Alone. 'YouTube, May 1, 2014. Retrieved on 2015-04-12.
  8. ^ Rachel Trachtenburg – Model Profile – Photos and latest news. models.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  9. ^ Julia Cumming. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  10. ^ ROCKER JULIA CUMMING STARS IN SAINT LAURENT SPRING ’15 ADS. "Fashion Gone Rogue". Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  11. ^ Do-Re-Mi Dept. Club Trip to N.Y., 2002. The New Yorker, September 9, 2002. Retrieved on 2013-03-15.
  12. ^ Welcome Julia Rachel!. Echo: The Next Generation, March 2, 1996. Retrieved on 2013-03-18.
  13. ^ North Shore-LIJ’s Cynthia L. Harden, MD, Named By Expertscape.com As One of the Top Five Epilepsy Experts in the US. North Shore LIJ, 1/27/2014. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  14. ^ Bite The Wax Godhead. MySpace. Retrieved on 2014-01-08.
  15. ^ Q&A: Rachel Trachtenburg’s SUPERCUTE! on Boys, Beer (Or a Lack Thereof), and Opening for Kate Nash. The Village Voice (online), April 30, 2010. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  16. ^ OMG Girls Sneak Preview!. YouTube, uploaded June 28, 2009. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  17. ^ CMJ 2009: Day Two. Blast Magazine, October 22, 2009. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  18. ^ The kids are all right: Justin Bieber’s got nothing on NYC’s teen bands. The New York Post, July 22, 2010. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  19. ^ The Kids Are All Right (and Flaunting Their Hooks, Taste and Cred). The New York Times, January 11, 2010. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  20. ^ Supercute - Misty Mountain Hop @ Live Music Hall. 'YouTube, September 22, 2010. Retrieved on 2015-04-12.
  21. ^ Teenage Girls are Supercute!. www.portable.tv, August 13, 2010. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  22. ^ Jack Skuller. Jack Skuller. Retrieved on 2013-07-20.
  23. ^ Looking Back at CMJ 2010. The New York Times, October 10, 2010. Retrieved on 2013-03-25.
  24. ^ Supercute at SXSW 2011. YouTube, uploaded March 19, 2011. Retrieved on 2013-07-30.
  25. ^ SUPERCUTE! Paint It Black cover. YouTube, uploaded July 30, 2011. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  26. ^ Interview: Rachel Trachtenburg of SUPERCUTE!. Love In Stereo, July 14, 2011. Retrieved on 2013-04-07.
  27. ^ Heather Boo << StyleLikeU. StyleLikeU, 2012. Retrieved on 2013-03-15.
  28. ^ Rookie >> Rookie Theme Song: September 2011. Rookie (online magazine), September 12, 2011. Retrieved on 2013-03-15.
  29. ^ Rookie >> Rookie Yearbook One. Rookie (online magazine), September 4, 2012. Retrieved on 2013-03-14.
  30. ^ The Oracle of Girl World. The New York Times, July 29, 2012. Retrieved on 2013-03-14.
  31. ^ Skateboarding for Beginners - What could be funner (or cuter or superer) than learning to skate with Supercute!?. Rookie (online magazine), September 22, 2011. Retrieved on 2013-03-15.
  32. ^ Supercute! “Dumb Dumbs”. Boing Boing (blog), January 6, 2012. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
  33. ^ http://www.teenvogue.com/entertainment/music/2013-03/supercute-music-video-premiere
  34. '^ Teen for Dada. Wise Madeness, March 10, 2012. Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
  35. ^ LoveLoveLeaveLove SUPERCUTE!. 'Bandcamp'. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  36. ^ Supercute! - Serious Business on BTR [ep112]. YouTube, uploaded April 1, 2013. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  37. ^ http://www.moderndrummer.com/site/2013/11/drummer-rosie-slater-new-myths-blog/#.U06moqaFzA0
  38. ^ AN INTERVIEW WITH SUPERCUTE!. "Outsider Zine", Sep 16, 2013. Retrieved on 201r-04-14.
  39. ^ supercute sunflower bean singer, julia cumming, is hedi slimane's new muse. i-D Magazine, August 1, 2014. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  40. ^ The Prettiots. Soundcloud. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  41. ^ SXSW Pays Off for the Prettiots. The New York Times, March 25, 2015. Retrieved on 2014-04-14.
  42. ^ The Prettiots. The 8th Annual Unofficial Guide to Everything. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  43. ^ Sunflower Bean - Bandcamp. Bandcamp. Retrieved on 2015-04-14.
  44. ^ Newcomers and Comebacks. The New York Times, October 26, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-04-14.
  45. ^ Q&A: Rachel Trachtenburg's SUPERCUTE! on Boys, Beer (Or a Lack Thereof), and Opening for Kate Nash. Village Voice, April 30, 2010. Retrieved on 2015-04-15.
  46. ^ Dum Dum Girls/Supercute! – Rookie Tunes. Discogs. Retrieved on 2012-03-14.
  47. ^ "LoveLoveLeaveLove" b/w "DumbDumbs". Bandcamp, April 14, 2015. Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
  48. ^ Supercute! - Brand New Key - Still Better Than The Beatles - A Tribute to The Shaggs. YouTube, April 22, 2012. Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
  49. ^ "Lolita Ya Ya" Supercute! Rehearsal 3/25/13. YouTube. Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
  50. ^ R. Stevie Moore Casette Club. Bandcamp, released 4/20/12. Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
  51. ^ Tubular Bells by the Brooklyn Organ Synth Orchestra. YouTube", uploaded March 3, 2011. Retrieved on 2012-03-14.