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The Aces Are Ready to Sing About Girls on Under My Influence

The Aces Are Ready to Sing About Girls on 'Under My Influence'

The Aces Are Ready to Sing About Girls on 'Under My Influence'

The indie-pop band talks about their new album, growing up in a religious town, and making music that's unapologetically queer.

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The Aces aren't holding back anymore.

The band just dropped their sophomore album Under My Influence, an eclectic selection of breezy, indie-pop songs about coming into their own and being unapologetically themselves.

On the first day of Pride Month earlier this year, The Aces blessed the gays with their new song "Kelly", a queer longing-anthem that marked their coming out in a lot of ways—it was the first time the band explicitly used she/her pronouns in their music.

"It's one of our favorite songs we've ever written. It's also, obviously, very queer," says Cristal Ramirez. The song is inspired by "being really interested in someone and feeling like this person was not giving me the attention I so hoped she would be giving me. Everyone's had those maddening, crazy feelings of just getting mixed feelings from this person all the time."

At its heart, the underlying theme of Under My Influence is not necessarily rebellion, but of freedom and the many ways we try to find it or express it. Between screaming "FUCKED UP DRINKING SMOKING" along with the chorus in "My Phone is Trying to Kill Me," or finding the peaceful solace of another person in "Going Home," the album is a release of inhibitions.

In their song "801," they use their hometown area code to sing about the Sun Trapp, the only queer club in Salt Lake City. "We grew up really religious so no one in our high school drank, no one did any kind of drugs, no one had sex before marriage," Cristal recalls. "That is not the typical high school experience."

It was formative for the girls to move in this kind of space where people they knew were "breaking out of this mold of what they were told to do and letting go of that guilt and that shame that we were all conditioned to have." Cristal adds, "I think a lot of people come from, whether or not you're religious, you come from a place of being told who you are is not okay and it should be lessened."

"That's what '801' is about, really embracing who you are and not apologizing for it. And that's really what the whole record is about." 

In the full 30-minute interview, Cristal and Alisa Ramirez, McKenna Petty, and Katie Henderson talk about the beginnings of The Aces, go in-depth about how the themes of "Daydream" and "My Phone is Trying to Kill Me" have become all too real during this pandemic, the vision behind some of their most iconic videos from the When My Heart Felt Volcanic era, and what they hope their new album gives to their fans. 

"Our album has a whole has such a positive, feel-good vibe to it and we always try to emulate that in everything we do," says Katie. "I love that you can hear that in our albums."

And what do the girls miss the most in this period of social isolation? Movies, clubbing, and of course, touring. "I'm never going to miss an opportunity to go out again," Alisa laughs. 

The Aces' new album Under My Influence is out now. Watch the full interview below.

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!