Rebel and a Basketcase
Last spring Rebel and a Basketcase came on my radar with the help of, yet again, Sirius Radio’s Alt Nation.
The station turned me on to the previously mentioned Cigarettes and Sex and that same year Rebel and Basketcase was spending time on the Alt18 list of top tunes to listen to.
I was surprised to learn Rebel and a Basketcase is fronted, oddly enough, by Evan Rachel Wood, who we typically associate as Sophie-Ann Leclerq on True Blood...or with Marilyn Manson.
Nothing was supposed to come of Rebel and a Basketcase. Evan Rachel Wood and Zach Villa first met in 2015 just before forming the electro-pop project, which was supposed to be a one and done deal to record the song, “Oh Yeah,” but it evolved into much more. And so did their relationship. The couple engaged in early 2017.
I’ve always enjoyed bands that have female/male vocal dynamics. One of my absolute favorite examples of this is the Kills. Alison Mosshart’s voice is more up close and personal on the tracks, but the shadow of guitarist Jamie Hince’s vocals is so enjoyable. While certain tracks of Rebel and a Basketcase remind of the Kills, they have a much more selective way of using Zach Villa’s vocals. A great example of this is in one of my favorites, “Lightning Look.” You got a peppering of Bowie, the XX and M83, all influences of the pair, and you not only hear this in their sound, but understand it from their aesthetics.
The first song I heard is “Just Friends” from 2016’s album Rebel and a Basketcase 2. Lyrics like “I thought that we were just friends, but I guess you just wanted to fuck” are a punch. “You took all of me but I’m glad I gave it a whirl, don’t you know I was your girl,” is easily a post-breakup mantra, but more upbeat songs like “Today” and “Girl On the Wire” will have you dancing. It’s fun to find out how great Evan Rachel Wood can sing. For those of us who haven’t seen her talent in the big screen musical Across the Universe, and according to the band’s official site, she has been singing and writing since she was pretty young. http://www.rebelandabasketcase.com/bio/
Mixing business with pleasure doesn’t always work, and I’m sad to learn the duo have since split musically and personally.
They unfortunately do not have upcoming shows or music for us to look forward to, but I highly suggest delving into their previous releases. You can anxiously await their first tweet in almost a year, Twitter and while they don’t have anything to hear on Soundcloud, you can check them out on Spotify: