Retrospective look at BRONCHO’S “Just Hip to Be Woman”

   With the release of their sophomore album, “Just Enough Hip to Be Woman,” BRONCHO obtained their first minor hit with “Class Historian.” This quintessential indie-rock song evokes the warm embrace of summer and coupled with an infectious melody, this track officially put the band on most people’s radar. As the album turns five this year, it seemed only fitting to look back at the release that brought this Norman band to the forefront.

   BRONCHO formed in 2010, releasing their debut album three years later. Titled “Can’t Get Past the Lips,” this album combined a pop-punk angst and fervor with the washed out guitar and hazy vocals of a more indie/alternative brand. The following year, “Just Enough Hip to Be Woman” was released.

   As previously stated, this album saw the band moving to embrace their indie-rock sound, although the more punk leaning side remained in the background.

    This album IS summer. The bright and sun-baked instrumentation with an echo-y and ambient vocal delivery. This theme of summer is even present in the album art, as a portion of it depicts a woman swimming. Everything about it brings a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgic remembrance for the summer sun and pure bliss.

   Starting off the track list is “What,” a lyrically intriguing song, as it displays a narrator who hopes to “get it on,” while the woman ultimately rejects his advances. This song bounces back and forth between frustration and the desperate attempt to prove that the narrator is worth pursuing. While this song could be viewed as the band defending this sort of self-entitlement, the self-deprecation displayed by the narrator proves that they aim to make fun of this toxic ideal. Couple this with the bright sound that BRONCHO hopes to establish as their new sound, and this track becomes an instant standout.

   Following this is the break out hit for them, “Class Historian.” Instant recognition is gained through the “Du du du” styled intro. The track brings in some more humor, as it details the narrator returning to a class reunion and trying to get the phone numbers of one of the girls he had known in high school.

  With the introduction of this track, a point must be made for the catchy quality of this album. Each track has a melody that is very recognizable, even if just in a single section of the song. BRONCHO knows how to write a hook, and they do not let the audience forget it. “Deena,” “Stay Loose,” and “It’s On” all have that ear worm effect, easily lodging themselves into the conscious mind of the listener.

   One of the darker moments on this album comes in the form of “I’m Gonna Find out Where He’s At.” This track has a more minor tone, as the narrator details his mom’s boyfriend, who he seems to be less than satisfied with. As the title is repeated throughout the song, dread grows at what the fate may be for this boyfriend. The more sinister tone, both in the lyrics and in the music, make this song stick out in the track list. This being said, that is not a negative to the song, but rather something to break up the sunshine (musically speaking) that exudes through the rest of the album.

   BRONCHO’s sophomore album is a strong indie-rock project. With glistening guitars, infectious bass lines and a perfectly atmospheric vocal style, “Just Enough Hip to Be Woman” is an incredible release.

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