By Kenny Berkowitz

Don’t get fooled: The name’s a joke, just to make sure you don’t take them too seriously. But the Prettiots aren’t prettiots at all. They’re smart, savvy, Brooklyn grrls with a gift for ukulele, pop hooks, and Too Much Information. Think post-punk-Shangri-Las and you’d be pretty close.

Like the Shangri-Las, the Prettiots cram a hearty dose of L-U-V into every song, mixing equal parts funny and sad, cuteness and angst, and coming up with lyrics like: “Here I am, my life is actually going pretty great/I finally got all my shit back/even if it’s six months too late/I can walk by the bar between Grand and Broome/and not think about all the times we made out in the bathroom.”

Prettiots Rough Trade Album Review Ukulele Magazine Uke Punk

Lead singer and uke player Kay Kasparhauser does the emotional heavy lifting, careening between mania (“Dreamboy”) and depression (“Suicide Hot Line”)—and if that sounds like a lot for an album of lo-fi indie pop, it’s what you’d expect from someone who named herself after a Werner Herzog movie.


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Drifting off during her job as a nanny, Kasparhauser makes a list of exes who once seemed cool (“Boys That I Dated In High School”). She thinks about going west, because nobody ever gets dumped in California (“Move to L.A.”). She crushes on Law & Order’s Eliot Stabler (“Stabler”) and Klaus Kinski (“Kiss Me Kinski”)—or at least boys who remind her of Stabler and Kinski, rocking a combination of wounded and volatile.

Kasparhauser’s ukulele fingerpicking patterns fit snugly inside the boom-chick style of Lulu Prat (electric bass guitar) and Rachel Trachtenburg (drums), who left the band shortly after this album was released.

If you’re willing to enter the chaotic world of one’s early 20s, this band could be your life: a ukulele-bass power duo, loud enough to rock and silly enough to make you laugh at yourself.

Funs Cool CD the Prettiots Rough Trade Album Review Ukulele Magazine Uke Punk

The Prettiots
Funs Cool
(Rough Trade)

Perfect for: Getting inspired to go out and start a band.

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