An hour before their set at Ohana Fest, The Regrettes are upbeat and ready to go on a dreary Friday afternoon. Meeting me in a nondescript area far from view, we exchange pleasantries and sit down at a somewhat quiet area on a park bench.
“It kind of feels surreal that it’s actually happening now,” singer Lydia Night says.
Little does she know that something surreal is about to happen literally 20 seconds later. I get a tap on the shoulder from the band’s tour manager that it’s time to wrap. Confused, we all look at each other before we hear a blaring announcement about thunder and lightning in the area. We shrug and go our separate ways.
Once the fest was given the green light, we decide it would be best to wait until after Lydia Night and her bandmates perform. It’s a wise decision.
In their shortened set, The Regrettes impress attendees with their accessible blend of garage pop and punk. Night is a captivating stage presence, and their no-frills set signals that The Regrettes are ready to unleash new music. Turns out their latest single, “Monday,” only serves as an appetizer of what’s coming.
Since emerging in 2017 with Feel Your Feelings Fool!, The Regrettes have earned many admirers with their blend of vintage garage pop and punk. Of the original group, only Night and guitarist Genessa Gariano — who met at music school as teens — now remain. Joined by bassist Brooke Dickson and drummer Drew Thomsen, The Regrettes are ready to move forward after being sidelined for the longest period of their young career.
Like almost everyone, the group wanted to get together sooner before the pandemic upended those plans. Despite being dispersed across the far reaches of Los Angeles, the quartet hunkered down in Joshua Tree for a 10-day writing session in January, also utilizing Zoom sessions with songwriter friends and producers.
A few months before their shows in Santa Barbara and Ohana, The Regrettes recorded 16 songs (in person and remotely) in separate sessions with producers Jacknife Lee and Tim Pagnotta (who worked with the band on “Monday”). The results will comprise their third album, which will be out sometime next year. As of now, The Regrettes are going to spend the rest of the year getting that together before gearing up for a big 2022, which they say includes a few big festival appearances.
“Right now we’re just seeing how this new song goes and seeing what we want to do next,” Night says. “The cat is out of the bag of what we’re going for, and it feels like a great representation of what’s to come.”