Josephine on the Internet, a.k.a. Josephine Shetty, tells The Deli about her and Tyler Holmes‘ New York debut at 3 Dollar Bill as Pride Month Barbie, playing with :3ION, Maniik, and WifiButterfly
Author: Willa Rudolph
Photo above and at bottom: Allegra Messina
Josephine’s particular brand of ethereal techno electronica elucidates a sensual wine; “I don’t wanna play anymore / I held back too much” she chants in the song “Withheld” (Get Better Records).
Where is Pride Month Barbie from?
JOTI: Pride Month Barbie is currently based in California. Josephine was born and raised in Los Angeles, and Tyler is from the Bay Area, which is where we initially met many years ago when we played a show together at El Rio in San Francisco. We’ve both had solo acts for many years, and while Josephine was engineering Tyler’s upcoming solo album at a residency in Point Arena, CA last summer, we started making some music together. We both instantly loved the sound, and that’s how we made our first PMB track, which is out now as our first single ‘Withheld‘.
Flyer by Paradise Khanmalek
Describe the show at 3 Dollar Bill a little bit?
We’ve been wanting to take PMB out of California for a while, and so we organized this show with our NY-based/adjacent friends Maniik, Wifibutterfly, and :3ION! We aimed to get a lineup of artists together whose digital instrumentation and pop vocal production brings the club and the dance party to a live show setting in eclectic ways. We also just love the work of the artists we booked with, so it was a treat to get to see them all perform and share the evening with them.
What did it mean to you to have a NYC debut for your music?
We love visiting New York! There’s so much sick underground art happening and spawning in the city. There’s so many amazing music events and parties showcasing grassroots electronic and pop musicianship that we hope to be a part of in the future, and we hope our recent trip puts us on the radar. We’ve both played in New York many times as our solo acts, and it’s been really special for us to showcase this new work to our communities as a band.
How would you describe your music in just a few words?
Sassy, sensual, stimulating.
How does playing in NY differ from playing in other places?
New York has so much energy. There’s a lot more people out and about, a lot more events happening throughout the day and night, and it’s a lot easier to get around. It feels really exciting to have a show in New York and take part in the nightlife there. It feels like the possibilities are endless, and it’s so inspiring.
Or as Gay Pride Barbie puts it so eloquently on their own Bandcamp page:
“Withheld” is the first track written, and coincidentally the first track to be released, by Pride Month Barbie. The song celebrates new love, the burgeoning feelings that transcend the “talking phase”, and the alignment felt upon fully and unabashedly embodying one’s truest feelings and desires.
An alluring bass line and lush vocal riffs lead into a confident declaration against holding back and concealing emotions. Washes of interlocking harmonies and bouncing arpeggiated melodies reflect a self-expression that “feels so right” and create a neon battleground for the vocal ensorcellment that swells throughout the song. PMB suggests that if you “want to give love,…jump in and don’t look back.”
Although ‘Withheld’ was not originally imagined as a coming-out track, during their mixing sessions, the band realized how the lyrics could be interpreted. PMB embraces this connotation, the gay agenda, and encourages fans not “to conceal what feels so right.“