I first saw Couples Counseling at the Big House on Ponce, an DIY punk venue in Atlanta. The event’s Facebook page sold the event as the place where the little mermaid learned how to twerk, but what all that online promotion amounted to IRL was about 15 hipsters wandering around sweating (no air at the Big House).
Still the bands were entertaining. Pariah had just taken the stage, and their sample-clogged noise sounded like if Sponge Bob Square Pants started a punk band. It was messy and chaotic, with the front man (whose name I overheard was Chris) talking nonstop and stopping the performance mid-way through to give everyone in the front row a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a cup to spit in when they were done brushing. The whole thing was held together by the guitar player, a girl with a high ponytail, who kept the riffs going while Chris lay on the ground and took hits from his inhaler and engaged in other antics.
That girl (who’s goes by Virginia) turned out to be the sole member of Couples Counseling, a bedroom pop project based out of Boston.On Soundcloud she has her tunes tagged as #bedroom, and her MP3s do have that off-kilter homemade quality and ambient atmosphere. Live, her shy demeanor was offset by the way her beats almost blew out the subwoofers and the yowl during the climax of one of her songs. It was the most mermaid/siren/wavvey thing of the night by far. Unlike Pariuh (sorry Chris) her recordings really stand up under repeat listens, and are perfect to kick back to after a stressful day.
While you can’t be a lucky owner of a physical tape anymore, you can stream and download the vibes via her Bandcamp. Like her on Facebook to find out when she goes on tour next, and if you want similar tunes check out Cry Guy. It’s another project that she’s in, this time with Cameron from Little Spoon. The songs are a bit more conventional and uptempo, and make a great soundtrack for wandering around your neighborhood.