60s music, unlike the 80s or 90s, is so far removed from today that it ends up sounding vastly different from more modern genres. Appropriate to their name, Santa Ana five-piece The McCharmlys make music charming and nostalgic of a bygone era. Their love for oldies and everything 60s is something evident in their album art and sonic palette, finding themselves on that bridge in music between doo-wop and right before the British invasion revamped popular music.


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Fronted by singer Angie Monroy, who founded the band alongside Bobby Greenig in 2017, their self-titled debut album from March of this year shows promise without hiding behind the shadow of their inspirations, making a group always keep things fresh and fun.

“Always Be (My Baby)” is among their most popular songs, and for good reason. Perfect when driving up to a lovers’ lane, the hopelessly romantic lyrics and doe-eyed optimism come together with the help of the band’s signature jangle guitars. Rounding it all together is the fuzzy recording, staying true to the era they pay homage to when performing live in full suits.

But of the new tracks off their new album, “Awful Thing” might be the prime example of what makes The McCharmlys worthwhile against other similar throwback bands. Initially a throwaway song, the track benefits from conscious lyrics more in line with indie bands today. All about sticking up for yourself and knowing your worth, the songwriting works wonders when paired with an infectious love for all things 60s.

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Much like the rest of her bandmates, Monroy also has experience playing in other bands, having been a part of The Tritones in the past. Whether it’s guitarist Eddie Gutierrez’s solo on “Awful Thing” or the trigger-happy drums on “Crying,” each band member gets the opportunity to shine. A good chunk of “Always Be (My Baby)” is void of any lyrics, letting the music speak for itself while the band’s enthusiasm naturally comes out. And sure, they’re definitely following a familiar formula down to the recording and style. But why fix something that shows no signs of breaking?

Words: David Sosa

The McCharmlys’ self-titled album is out on all streaming services. The band have three Souther California gigs coming up. Catch them at the Foundation Room at the House of Blues Anaheim on June 22nd; Seven Grand in San Diego on July 3rd and Alex’s Bar in Long Beach on July 29th.

For more on new music and local shows, follow The McCharmlys on Instagram and TikTok.

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