Premiere: The Fontaines, ‘Paul Newman’



Siblings Hank and Charlotte Fontaine have coined a term for their stylishly retro pop music: “new-wop.” Indeed, the Fontaines’ forthcoming debut EP is a finger-snapper, not unlike the doo-woppers of old, but their music’s modern touches reveal a little ’80s New Wave and contemporary indie-rock influence, so they haven’t been living entirely in the black-and-videos of history. And like some other bands of brothers and sisters, the pair cop to having a bit of a sibling rivalry that helps the creative process. “We know each other well enough to push one another out of our comfort zones,” Hank says. Highlighted by Charlotte’s sprightly vocals and Hank’s sharp guitar work, the EP (due Sept. 30) has songs such as “Paul Newman,” “Dustin Hoffman,” “Dusty Springfield” and “Cate Blanchett.” Homage or celebrity fixation? “The idea behind the celeb names was that we consider the songs to be schlocky, tacky, and kitsch in a way that almost makes them the soundtrack to a tabloid magazine,” Hanks says. “We are pointing out that these names are just names, and that any name can hold just as much (or as little) significance as any other.” Names aside, you can almost hear the swishing of skirts during “Paul Newman.”

||| Stream: “Paul Newman”

||| Live: The Fontaines play Sept. 5 at the Hotel Café.