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The Veronicas' New Album 'Gothic Summer' is a Bold Showcase of Versatility and Ingenuity

Abby Anderson Mar 28, 2024

For Australian female pop-rock band The Veronicas, a casual coffee date with longtime friend and legendary pop-punk producer John Feldmann brought about sparks of a bold idea. Without expectations, pressure, or definitive intention, that idea became the group's brand-new album, Gothic Summer. The twin sister duo call it a "dark comedy" of an album, which somehow can be described as classic, chaotic, and truly creative all at once.

Stand-out tracks: "PERFECT," and "SAVAGE"

My favorite: "INVISIBLE"

"PERFECT" is the attention-grabber track that piqued my interest in Gothic Summer as a complete project when it was released as a single. It's the classic pop-punk execution with female flair that has made The Veronicas stand on their own in a genre full of male-dominated bands. There's a perfect balance of the maturity it takes to finally say "It doesn't matter who you were before / Cause no one's actually keeping score," while also unabashedly extolling "glitter dreams" and the societal pressures to be pretty rather than authentic. This track also holds the best lyric of the whole album: "Falling in line can be fatal / I'd rather be a fucking mess than stable." Oh, there's nothing quite like pop-punk.

The electronic-punk influence on "DETOX" is as addictive and unpredictable as the relationship illustrated throughout the track.  The cheekiness of The Veronicas' Australian accents adds to the pissed-off desperation of the bridge, where the relationship is so intoxicating that they go so far as to say "I think I've overdosed/I'm not dead but I'm coming close."

From the opening thrumming bass of "HERE TO DANCE," this one completely leaves pop-punk behind and taps into a Dua Lipa-style dance-pop. Despite lyrical parallels to the preceding two tracks, "HERE TO DANCE" marks a shift in Gothic Summer. In an effort to be more carefree, it leaves behind the integrity of the style that The Veronicas have built their success on and pushes towards something new. "SAVAGE" also leans into dance-pop, but carries lyrical integrity that's stronger and more intentional, really emphasizing the theme of "Was it love or collateral damage?" This one is brutal yet cathartic, and the one-liner of "Got my jewellery on / But the bling on my ring finger's moved along" really drives the track home.

Both the 2000s-style pop that glimmers in "INVISIBLE," where The Veronicas shine vocally calling out "Can anyone else hear me?"; and cinematic "RIBCAGE" are the production high points on Gothic Summer. The latter pairs piano-ballad instrumentals and percussion-synths to illustrate the passion and intensity of the emotion told through the song. The pinnacle of the track comes as it builds to its conclusion, as The Veronicas illustrate the growth that new love can inspire: "I'm feeling the pressure pushing my ribcage / Coming alive again/Because of you."

Despite its short tracklist of eight songs, Gothic Summer starts to lose steam at its conclusion. As much as I wish the project had a satisfying resolution, the chaotic "JUNGLE" and "PERFECT (Acoustic)" don't deliver on the expectations set by the front half of the album. As their first international release in a decade, The Veronicas deliver a versatile and diverse body of work in Gothic Summer. With a few shining gems and a devil-may-care attitude, the album pushes the boundaries just enough to please female pop-rock fans while also freeing The Veronicas to embrace a new decade of their career.


Keep up with The Veronica's and future releases here.