Boh Doran’s new EP Robot Girl channels all her dreamy nostalgia for 90s teen movie soundtracks into chaotically buoyant alt-pop. Pieced together over two years and previewed with the release of her debut EP Flagpole Sitta, all six songs deepen the singer/songwriter’s meldings of a kaleidoscope of genres; from her retro soul and R&B underpinnings to electro-pop and synth-wave generated hooks.
But on Robot Girl all of Boh Doran’s energy is generated towards recreating what she calls this “‘Clueless’ soundtrack but 20 years too late.” It’s a sound characterized by its breathless, rhythmic anxieties and rushing melodies. Case in point: its opening title track is a bubbly, electronica sputtering jam followed by the sprinting guitar-drum hand-offs of the breezy “Jawbreaker.”
Then there’s the sublimely riff-droning and sonorous “Cat’s Cradle,” where Boh Doran glumly muses from her room: “In a city of fakes we gotta make up our own rules.” While songs like “Answer Machine” and “Some People” embody the kind of airy indie-pop informed by 90s throwbacks that first inspired her to pursue music in the first place.
And when delivered in her incandescent croon Boh Doran’s nostalgia-laden songs become something other than just attempts to recapture it. Sample after sample layered vocals after layered vocals — underneath all the shimmering synth-pop she creates her own world out of it.
Boh Doran also produced three of the songs on the EP on her own, which include “Jawbreaker,” “Some People,” and “Cat’s Cradle” — for the rest she produced them alongside John Spiker. When Boh Doran’s debut album finally arrives I imagine the decadent indie-pop universe that will emerge will be one sprawling with similar bangers as the one on Robot Girl.
“I settled on this ‘Clueless soundtrack but 20 years too late’ sound because it’s the world that got me excited about music. As I’ve gotten more into making visuals and videos, this sound has turned into an experience for me. It’s like a time-capsule-alternate-universe that I transport myself to. The cover of the EP is an attribute to that. Like you are floating in outer space in a collage of nostalgic other worldly experiences.”