Perfumed performers take on Youngstown

Girl Cologne poses on the stairs at Penguin City Brewing Company. Photo by Sydney Fairbanks / The Jambar

By Sydney Fairbanks / The Jambar

A small band from Cleveland performed in Youngstown on Feb. 16 at Penguin City Brewing Company. 

Girl Cologne, made up of vocalist Jenna Seeman, guitarist Cade Cubbison, drummer Parker Disalvo and bassist Spencer Kmiecik, performed with Riley Burke Band, The Velvet Gentlemen, and Franklin Dead Rose.

The four members united through the music summer camp School of Rock during the pandemic and began booking gigs in 2021.

The name Girl Cologne comes from Cubbison, who could not remember the word for perfume.

“I snuck a lady friend over and they stunk up the house with their perfume, and I was telling [Seeman] the story and I could not remember the word perfume. So, I was like ‘oh, her girl cologne, or whatever,’” Cubbison said. 

Cade Cubbison playing guitar. Photo by Sydney Fairbanks / The Jambar

Girl Cologne advocates for chronic illnesses, as Seeman struggles with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, also known as POTS, and chronic migraines. The band also shows support for the LGBTQ community, stands against capitalism and donates a large portion of merchandise proceeds to relief for Palestinians affected by the Israel-Hamas war.

Kmiecik, who is transgender, said it’s important to have representation in the music industry.

“If I saw myself when I was 12, I’d be like, ‘Okay, that person who I don’t even know what their gender is, but they look like they’re confident and they’re comfortable. And if they can do it, then I can,’” Kmiecik said. 

Girl Cologne describes its sound as indie rock and alternative. Seeman, who writes most of Girl Cologne’s lyrics, said inspiration comes from her personal experiences and interests.

“It’s just like, ‘I guess I just needed to talk about this,’ and then after I write it, I’m like, “oh, that was very obvious what that was about,” Seeman said.

Jenna Seeman singing. Photo by Sydney Fairbanks / The Jambar

The group’s first single “Let Me Know” has accumulated over 7,000 streams on Spotify. Kmiecik said it was shocking to see thousands listening to the band’s music.

“To have something on Spotify with over even 1,000 [streams] is crazy to me. It’s like, you always see — especially with smaller bands — less than 1,000 on all their streams. It’s nice to actually see numbers,” Kmiecik said.

The band has released six songs and has one album in progress. Seeman said the group plans to release more singles that reflect the album before they begin recording it.

“It’s just not as up-tempo. I mean, not all of our songs are. It’s just it’s leaning more towards the last few [songs] that we’ve had come out as opposed to the first few,” Seeman said.

Parker Disalvo on the drums. Photo by Sydney Fairbanks / The Jambar

To achieve Girl Cologne’s sound, Kmiecik said the group works on memorizing songs to perfect them.

“We practice every single week, even when we don’t have shows. So, consistency, and over time, it sounding more and more cohesive is kind of what I feel like helps us narrow down what we want to sound like,” Kmiecik said. “Last year at this point, we sounded completely different than we sound now, and I think we’re just dialing in better what we want it to sound like.”

Girl Cologne will perform at 8 p.m. on March 8 at the 5 O’Clock Lounge in Lakewood.

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