It's always a little irritating when women in rock bands are dubbed "vulnerable." The word is often meant as a compliment, but one given without consideration to the fact that music always opens up its makers to a wide range of emotions. And as if women, in particular, bear some magical burden of openness, lacking the ability to rage and strut and cause trouble like guys do.
What does vulnerability sound like, anyway? Maybe it's just the willingness to occasionally sound awkward. To hit a bum note. To say the thing that makes you look a little dumb.
Whatever the definition, Deezy Violet has it. Her songs for Sad Baxter, the duo she shares with drummer Alex Mojaverian, are rough-and-tumble with a tender heart, punk testimonies to the complexity of love and youth and life. Sad Baxter's 2016 self-released album, Weirdy, is a joyful burst of fuzzed guitars and cymbal crashes grounded in the messy, melodic indie-rock of the 1990s. In it, Deezy confronts tough subjects like depression and self-doubt, breaking through the tough stuff with a growl and a great sense of melody.
Escapees from Boston's Berklee College of Music, Deezy and Alex have the kind of loose, instinctive connection that results in music that always hangs together even in the midst of falling apart. Sad Baxter's latest song, "Baby," is the A-side of a new single on Nashville's fine indie label Cold Lunch Recordings. It's just what most of feel in these tumultuous times: "I don't wanna think about anything at all too hard," Deezy sings. "I just wanna go and lay in my baby's arms." Rivers Cuomo wishes he wrote that.