Reviewed by Brooke Curtis
Vanessa Peters & Ice Cream on Mondays/Little Films
Equipped with a quirky name that would make me assume they’re another ’80s New Wave revival, Vanessa Peters & Ice Cream on Mondays are actually a superb folk-rock act with intelligent, poetic lyrics. Now you may not understand the meaning of Peters’ lyrics initially, but they seem to open up after repeated listens. Like Suzanne Vega in her early years, Peters loves to write enigmatic lyrics. Fortunately, the music isn’t bogged down by the cryptic nature of her words unlike Vega’s debut album in the mid-’80s which, for the most part, found itself wallowing in her pretentiousness. Her band, Ice Cream on Mondays, keeps the songs loose and melodic, pushing them with chiming guitars and Americana touches here and there.
“I dreamed last night that I lost the first vampire I ever loved/To the cold and snow of Michigan,” Peters sings on “Anti-Hero,” putting a supernatural twist on unrequited romance. It’s a prime example of how Peters, as a songwriter, cannot be pegged; she goes her own way, and we are her willing passengers, grooving to the beat of her ice creams while seriously engaged in the wild tales she is sharing with us.