I've booked and promoted a lot of rock shows in San Francisco, and it's rare that anything comes along like The She's. Four high school juniors who compose and play original harmony pop so incredibly warm and rich that they tend to blow away the grown-up bands they share the stage with? Surely, you don't encounter this every day.
They met in kindergarten, and by the fifth grade they had started a band of eight girls, all playing guitar. Of that group only four stuck with it, and pretty soon The She's were formed. Their name derives from their collective initials: Sinclair is the drummer, Hannah and Eva play guitar, and Samantha the bass. The only one who doesn't sing is the tiny drummer, but she rocks extra hard. Really, you have to see it to believe it...
Except for the occasional sound person who finds it necessary to explain to them what a "sound check" is, The She's have encountered enthusiasm, acceptance, and appreciation in the local music scene. Last year, they recorded their first album, Then it Starts to Feel Like Summer, with a grant from the California Arts Council, which allowed them unlimited time and creative freedom at the Women's Audio Mission, a San Francisco-based non-profit dedicated to the advancement of women in music production. Although the band enjoys the total support of their parents (who also function as a multi-headed manager), they are an independent entity; in addition to booking their own shows, they recently released their record with money from the band fund, and it seems to have garnered nothing but well-deserved praise.
Over the last year, I've watched the band develop from slightly awkward performers to considerably less awkward performers, and they've lost none of their charm and power to beguile. Between-song banter still seems to get lost in giggles and mumbling, but from the moment they take to the stage and start singing and playing, they are clearly in their element. Inspiration comes from classic acts such as The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and The Ronettes, as well as local tunesmiths like The Morning Benders, Girls, and A B and the Sea. They claim their sound changes when the type of music they listen to changes, but it always sounds distinctly like The She's: sunny, feel-good rock and roll made by four very gifted, confident, unpretentious young women.
You can catch them opening for Surfer Blood on February 25, 2012 at The Independent in San Francisco. Speaking of this upcoming show, the girls mentioned that when they first met Surfer Blood at their in-store show at Amoeba Music, "They couldn't seem to get it that we were The She's and not 'The Cheese'! That was embarrassing." For more She's/Cheese stories check out the upcoming show.