Group Rhoda is not a group at all, but a solo project from San Francisco's Mara Barenbaum. The project is stark and clean, and Barenbaum's voice echoes over the tracks with melodrama. “Work” especially reminds me of the machinations of a group that was extremely popular during the last cycle of electronic discovery, Adult. from Detroit. In that band, Nicola Kuperus sang in a specifically robotic way without vocoder or auto-tune, pretending to the machine instead of importing the effect. With Group Rhoda, Barenbaum's glamorously mechanical singing is overlaid with a more gothic ghoulish tone, the dips at the beginning of her words indicating that at any time she could switch the lyrics to “I vant to suck yer blooood!” It's a neat trick that gives the song body over a simple repetitive beat and lyrics.
Group Rhoda's first LP, Out of Time, Out of Touch, will be released at the end of August by Night School Records. She plays Friday August 3 with one of our current favorites, Lumerians, in Oakland at the Uptown. You can find a few more tracks to check out on Night School's Soundcloud.