Pretty Preachers Club are a pop duo from Glasgow. Hannah Berry and Martha McKay cite their key musical influences as Beabadoobee, The 1975, and Phoebe Bridgers, and met at university while embarking on careers not as musicians, but as actors.
They decided to dive head first into the world of music during last year’s lockdown and soon gained local and national praise within Scotland — BBC Introducing described the pair as “like Stevie Nicks harmonising with Stevie Nicks” — for their debut EP Going Nowhere Fast. Now, Pretty Preachers Club’s follow-up EP has just been unveiled.
Romance and Adolescence channels a similar lo-fi, bedroom pop atmosphere to their debut. However, with the added inclusion of a guitarist and drummer, the pair have drawn on a mixture of musical realms including indie, folk, and jazz, which add depth and texture to their latest material.
The key feature of EP opener “Drive” is its vocal harmonies. Initially solo, the vocals tackle themes of insecurity: “It’s hard to think what could be / When you don’t really like what you see.” With the introduction of the harmonies, the mood shifts to one of acceptance in being able to move beyond such feelings: “Maybe it was good for me to just be on my own / Spend some time away…”
“Love in London” opts for a more anthemic outlook. With its full band lineup and emotive cadences, the mix and arrangement feel a little out of sorts with the EP’s otherwise lo-fi feel. Nonetheless, the duo show their ambition by openly exhibiting new ideas for moving forward — like any progressing creative act should do.
The final two tracks on Romance and Adolescence are Pretty Preachers Club’s best yet. The chorus hook on “Ask If I’m Ok” — “Am I really missing out on real life? / Did you really think I’d be someone’s housewife?” — converses over a plethora of pertinent subjects on modern living, equality and women’s roles in society.
“Just Tell People How You Feel’s” fingerpicked acoustic guitars are tinged with a folky, sitting round the campfire type feel while Berry says in a press release that the lyrics are “almost a dream-like scenario of ideal love.”
Romance and Adolescence is an appropriate title for Pretty Preacher’s Club sophomore EP for a few reasons. The romantic ideology of their bedroom pop aesthetic has grown with their lyrics becoming more acutely attuned to topical and personal themes.