Breaking & Entering
A look at acts breaking at radio and retail and entering Billboard charts. This week: Scissor Sisters.Profiling acts breaking at radio and/or retail and entering Billboard's charts.
Roll out the Twister, dust off the punch bowl and invite your closest friends over for a night of innocent playtime with the Scissor Sisters.
The New York-based group's infectious mix of sexy pop and early 1980s nostalgia is poised to land on U.S. shores July 27, following the No. 1 success of its self-titled debut on the U.K album chart.
"I think our music is definitely coming at the right time," says singer Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters' U.S. debut. "America is at a period where things are pretty bleak in the pop world and there are few bands coming out that are really involving audiences in the feeling of joy and I think it's about damn time."
Although the group's U.S. introduction, "Take Your Mama," tackles the situation of being gay in a small town, it does so with a buoyancy that gives the song universal appeal. The track is at once a rousing tale of a sheltered mom, a wild night with a cheap bottle of champagne and a poignant connection between a parent and a child.
"To me, ['Take Your Mama'] is about that moment when you realize your parents are real people with insecurities just like you," says Matronic. "I think the message is really universal and that's what we try to do. We try to make pop music that isn't geared toward any one kind of person or demographic."
Written by lead singer and songwriter Jake Shears, the track is gaining radio spins weekly and has climbed to No. 24 on Billboard's Modern AC chart and No. 30 on the Adult Top 40 list.
Other album standouts include the unlikely disco remake of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" -- which Shears sings with a Barry Gibb vibe -- and U.K. debut single "Laura," which chases leisurely drawn-out vocals a with a persistent synth beat.
Titles like "T*** on the Radio," "Lovers in the Backseat" and "Filthy/Gorgeous" playfully inspire a theme of uninhibited suggestion throughout.
"We have a lot of fun and we approach sexuality as something that is absolutely positive and a really good thing," says Matronic of the material. "It seems that so many people are afraid to speak out because they're afraid of people not liking them or they're afraid of not selling albums."
Shears and multi-instrumentalist Babydaddy originally formed Scissor Sisters as a duo. Matronic -- who hosted her own cabaret show in Manhattan's Lower East Side before joining the group -- joined in 2001 to play New York's electroclash scene. The eventual addition of drummer Paddy Boom and guitarist Del Marquis, evolved into the group's current sound and slots opening for mainstream pop icons like Elton John and Duran Duran.
"The process was always just about making a good song no matter what it sounded like, and so I think that's one of the reasons why we have sort of an indefinable sound," says Matronic.
Scissor Sisters return from Europe July 22, when they will begin a U.S. club tour that kicks off at Seattle's Nuemos. The group returns to Europe in August and will play London's Royal Albert Hall on Oct. 17.