Collection: Queen of Jeans

All Again. That’s the title of the upcoming full-length record from Philadelphia’s Queen of Jeans. The LP tracks an entire arc that, by the final hazy vibrato wash of “Do It All Again,” bleeds back into the ambient first seconds of the record. “Thought I’d call tonight, hear how you’re dealing,” Miriam Devora sings to a distant lover on opener “All My Friends” in a neon-lit, melancholy tenor, the precise sound of lonesome love. The full band joins her in a beautiful night time sway, but it’s still no use: “I got all my friends around, but I’m not home til I’m alone with you.”

The rest of the record follows this relationship as it tumbles through loneliness and longing, to elation and joy, to pain and anger, and finally to its foggy close, where Devora admits, “If I got to do it all again, I’d find you there like I did back then.”

Releasing on Memory Music, All Again is principally an enveloping, rich indie-rock record, changing dance partners between cheek-to-cheek ’60s pop sweetness, ’90s alt-rock dirt, spacious and pained emo, and the songcraft and melodicism of the sharpest acoustic singer-songwriter acts. Devora (vocals, guitar, keys) and Matheson Glass (lead guitar, piano) took extra care this time to create a Queen of Jeans full-length that reflected in sound and structure the emotional depths they were exploring.

It’s the first time since their 2015 debut, Dig Yourself, that they’ve had a full band, with drummer Patrick Wall and bassist Andrew Nitz, to build with. Where on releases like 2022’s sparkling lockdown-pop Hiding In Place Devora and Glass had gone into producer and mix/master engineer Will Yip’s Studio 4 with sketches and worked with Yip to arrange the songs in studio, this time, they went in with a complete vision for the record. That allowed them to use studio time to expand the record’s sonic boundaries. “We had a lot more room to play with some of the ear candy we’ve always wanted to explore and get weirder in the studio,” says Glass.

Those elements lend a physicality and playfulness to the memory and emotions that unfurl through All Again. “We’re trying to tell the story of when you look back at an important relationship,” says Glass. “Years go by, and the more you reflect on it, it becomes more warped and the facts become a little bit more murky. We wanted to play with that and get surreal with the story.” (Literally: listen for a “monster” voice in the already-released banger “Karaoke.”) The record’s artwork, conceptualized by Devora, renders this idea with devastating clarity.

“It starts and ends at these bookends,” Devora explains of the first and last songs, but the bookends—and really, most of the spaces along the way—could be the beginning or the end, depending on how and when you hear them. Devora wrote “All My Friends” while Glass was away working another tour. It’s a sweet, intimate love song, but in context on All Again, it’s also an introduction to the record’s story. Many of the songs follow this example: personal experiences that are recontextualized in a semi-fictional narrative.

Lead single “Horny Hangover” is destined for a spot in the messy situationship canon with its instant-anthem chorus: “I get a horny hangover every time you cross my mind,” Devora groans, the victim of irrepressible magnetism. The slow heartache waltz of “All My Friends” will release next, followed by “Bitter Pill,” a driving churn of overdrive and charged drums that backdrop a turn in the story, where sadness and denial mutate into anger. “You’re like, ‘Fuck you, your best friends, everyone who is related to you,’” explains Devora. This phase continues on “Go Down Easy,” a heavy look at abuse and substance use that recasts queer relationships with nuance and humanity. This one, too, is destined for live sing-alongs, with its delicious gang-chant: “God damn you, and I mean it!”

After the heart-pounding indie-rock romance of “Last To Try” comes the woozy, lovesick closer, “Do It All Again.” But in these distant closing seconds, you just barely catch a hummed melody that reminds you of everything that was just experienced, and carries you back to the beginning. Even when something is over, it’s not really over, is it?