LA’s resident femme-punk royalty The Aquadolls release their hotly anticipated third studio album Charmed via Enci Records. The band’s first album in five years, Charmed was produced by Chris Szczech who is renowned for his work with The Goo Goo Dolls. Named after the hit 90s/00s TV show, the album fuses elements of melodic 60s harmonies and 90s-driven crunchiness with a modern twist that ushers in a new era for the band, and serves as a strong representation of where they are going next. Don’t let the relatable tales focused on love and relationships, heartbreak and longing, fool you, The Aquadolls are still about having fun and showcasing humor in their lyrics – Stream.
What started off as frontwoman Melissa Brooks’ bedroom demos and loose ideas turned into nine songs that perfectly chart The Aquadolls’ growth as a band. Charmed is also the first time that the trio wrote as a unit, allowing the tracks to blossom in the studio before transforming into the fully fleshed-out songs that ended up on the album. Nothing is off limits as the band dives deep into everything from loving yourself first, to the uncertainty of hookups, to the confines of capitalism, all with a twinkle of nostalgia.
In discussing Charmed, bassist Keilah Nina said, “This album to me is about love in all forms: self-love, sisterhood, romance, etc., and how magical (and sometimes terrifying) love can feel when you truly succumb to it in every way.”
Today also sees the release of the official video for “Spotlight.” In the decadent, boudoir-style video directed by longtime creative collaborator Jenna Houchin, the band revels in excess and confidence, perfectly paired with the creeping sexiness of the track – Watch.
Leading up to their album release, The Aquadolls tantalized fans with singles “Beachy,” “Sneaky,” “Burn Baby Burn,” “Far Far Away,” and accompanying music videos for each. This rollout brought the band attention from the likes of LA Weekly, New Noise, Into, Loud Women, and many others.
When Melissa Brooks formed The Aquadolls 10 years ago, it served as an outlet for her to channel her angst. In high school, she was bullied by her peers, and music served as a therapeutic way to express herself in a positive way. Following the formation of the bedroom project, Brooks — who serves as the band’s primary singer, songwriter and guitarist — released the Free EP in 2012 and her debut album, Stoked on You in 2013. After cycling through musicians, Brooks joined forces with bassist Keilah Nina and drummer Jacqueline Proctor and things fell into place. The trio released their sophomore album, The Dream and Deception, in 2018.
Once their current lineup solidified around the release of The Dream and Deception, The Aquadolls made serious moves. They’ve performed with artists including Kate Nash, Pennywise and Jimmy Eat World, and have featured on major festival lineups like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Warped Tour and a pair of appearances at Eddie Vedder’s Ohana Festival. The Los Angeles-based band spent the summer of ’22 on the road with Incubus and Sublime with Rome.
Out now via Enci Records, The Aquadolls’ third album, Charmed (which is named after the popular 90s/00s TV show), is a natural progression for their discography. Don’t let the relatable tales focused on love and relationships, heartbreak and longing for more fool you, The Aquadolls still are about having fun and showcasing humor in their lyrics. Charmed charts the growth in The Aquadolls’ sound, fusing elements of melodic 60s harmonies and 90s-driven crunchiness with a modern twist that ushered in a new era for them, and it serves as a strong representation of what they want to do.
Even as the current edition of The Aquadolls continues to evolve, their signature sound as a guitar-driven band remains the same. Armed with a continued desire to promote their message of self-love and positivity, Charmed is the perfect step forward. Combining a cohesive sound with this message, The Aquadolls are comfortable growing up with their audience — who view things through never perfect, Vaseline-tinged view of the world.
After wrapping up their headline Spring Fling Tour, The Aquadolls will continue celebrating the release of Charmed at Riot Fest and Ohana later this year.