Amie Miriello and Vanessa Olivarez are extraordinary country-rock harmonizers with lyrics and a sound that show off a bit of edge and a lot of heart, a combination that makes their songs feel like honest thoughts shared by a close friend. It’s what makes Boys Club For Girls so worth joining.
The two spoke with me via zoom for an appearance on WUSB and often had me laughing. Olivarez went with large pink sunglasses and even larger and brighter pink earings while Miriello settled for a black zip-up hoodie. They’d often answer questions at the same time, sometimes differently. Miriello cursed just about as freely as she did on the album, recounting that they almost played their uncensored songs during a live radio performance on a different station. She described their relationship as like they siblings, though noted there’s sometimes confusion.
“People sometimes think that we’re together because when we sing live, I’d say 75% of the time we sing to each other,” Miriello explained.
“There’s an intimacy about singing with each other and to each other that people sometimes translate as being romantic, but I think we are in love with the songs,” Olivarez added.
The songs range from mournful country to edgy roots rock and from introspective to funny. “The Weatherman,” the album’s most popular single, talks about unpredictable emotional turbulence by comparing it to the weather in Tennessee, which Miriello described as a “complete shit show.”
“It’s like two seasons in a day here,” Olivarez said. “It’ll be warm and beautiful in the day and it hits night time and the sun goes down and it’s like winter. We really tried to take that idea and turn it into a song about how it’s difficult to control these emotions.”
Closest traces the mindset of someone attempting to engage in a dysfunctional relationship on a piano driven ballad that sounds sufficiently melodramatic for the topic being discussed.
“When I was younger, I didn’t think that a relationship was intense enough and the love wasn’t deep enough unless there was chaos,” Miriello admitted. “I think a lot of people feel like if it feels normal or it feels easy then it can’t be a big enough love. Love does not have to be chaos. It’s always going to be hard, but you don’t have to fight and make up to make things exciting.”
“Eventually you just settle into a nice, slow kind of love,” Olivarez added. “I think even if you don’t think that’s what you want it’s what everybody wants.”
“Not Just Yet” showcases the duo’s typically great harmonies while also showing how they’re not always perfectly in sync. When I asked if understanding the idea behind the song, that you’ll eventually be okay after a break up, made the process any easier, the two disagreed. Miriello quickly said no, but Olivarez gave a full answer first.
“It might feel black for a while like you’re never going to see the other side, but eventually there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I think it’s important to remember that,” she said.
Miriello disagreed. “You know that you’ll be okay at some point, but I don’t think it makes it any better because it feels endless when you’re in it.”
The two did harmonize on one point though.
“Some people make it really easy for you to not grieve,” Olivarez said. Miriello laughed and nodded. I couldn’t help laughing along as well.
Above is the full episode as aired on WUSB’s Country Pocket, including both my interview with Amie and Vanessa and the songs we discussed, starting with Not Just Yet, which is the mid tempo song of the three I play. The interview begins afterward. You can hear the show live every Monday at 11am on WUSB 90.1 FM or check the blog to watch it as a YouTube playlist. Visit http://www.WUSB.fm and https://www.boysclubforgirls.com for more.