Los Angeles alt-rock band Rivals celebrate their sophomore release, Sad Looks Pretty on Me, available on all major DSPs today and via Smartpunk Records. Along with the album release, the band has released a new music video for “Change Things,” completing a cryptic journey that fans have been following through the visual releases of “Lavenders,” “Fake Rich ft. Elijah Witt,” “Sad Looks Pretty on Me,” and “Strawberries.”
The album has been revered by many, as noted by Buzzbands LA, “RIVALS has a distinct sound, and Wolfe’s vocals are unmistakable. This year’s releases so far are clearly a preview of the album to come, and this sound looks good on them.” Wolf in the Suitdescribes the music as an “exquisite and rebellious blend of melodies and lyrics,” and Alternative Press claims, “Vocalist Kalie Wolfe catalyzes a deeply resonating, anthemic energy through impassioned performances. Though, not without somber inflection.”
On the release of their sophomore album, vocalist. Kalie Wolfe states:
“3 years. That’s how long we worked on this record. 100 songs, that’s how many instrumentals we wrote, over 35 with vocals. We spent so many hours in the studio with different people to create a diverse and crazy range of songs that somehow still sound like RIVALS. ‘Sad Looks Pretty on Me’ is a step into another world. We hope you enjoy the dive from pop to metal, from emo rap/rock to post-hardcore, and everything in between. Don’t forget, happy is temporary, but make those moments of sadness look good on you. You’re strong. You’re amazing. And you’re worth it.” – Kalie Wolfe
Rivals’ new album, Sad Looks Pretty on Me, exists in two worlds. The Los Angeles quartet — vocalist Kalie Wolfe, bassist Sebastian Clarke, guitarist Micket Woodle, and drummer Josh Alves — draw a wobbly line between blossoming pop-rock and wilting post-hardcore, often alternating between sides for earth-shattering effects. By wearing their inspirations proudly (and enlisting the help of contemporaries), Rivals clamor for the attention of both radio listeners and bedroom moshers. Eventually, their explosive live act—which has garnered the attention of audiences nationwide—will wear this new set of songs. Try this on for size: how many songs have you heard that begin like “Fake Rich,” out of the gate with stuttering percussion, but end up turning the corner with a gnarly breakdown courtesy of Cane Hill frontman Elijah Witt? It’s a perfect distillation of the band’s core ethos: create a club hit, curl it around sneering guitars and urgent drums, tear it down. While this mentality of pop-metal destruction is relentless and well-stocked here, like on the pitch-shifted alt-metal of “On the Loose” and the dirtied, jagged synth-rock of “Little Mistakes,” Wolfe and company are concerned with creation, too. From the ashes of tortuous mental anguish, Rivals always rise to the challenge of confronting demons head-on—while fashioning their moods into something irresistible.
Since the release of their debut EP in 2015, titled Haunted/Hunted, the band has been making waves and for good reason. Revered by many on their live performance, RVLS has previously toured the country with bands like The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Tillian, and on the ShipRocked cruise. In 2016, Rivals gained mass attention with their unique take on twenty one pilots? track, “Heathens,” which has garnered over 1 Million listens collectively. In 2018, Rivals released their first full-length LP, Damned Soul via Smartpunk Records. Damned Soul garnered an enthusiastic response, with praise from critics at Billboard and over 5 Million streams.
‘Sad Looks Pretty on Me’ Track Listing:
1. Sad Looks Pretty On Me
3. Change Things (ft. Dutch Melrose)
5. Little Mistakes
6. Fake Rich (ft. Elijah Witt)
7. On The Loose
8. Dead Flowers
10. Are You Listening?
11. To: Dom