Jess Matthews sings like a child talking during a time out: Each word is fiercely enunciated, delivered with tense determination and absolute innocence. But Matthews, pictured far left, isn’t 4; she’s a 30-something songwriter who fronts America Hearts, a jangly D.C. indie-pop quartet putting a modern twist on the idea of a “singles club.”
Seven-inch-single clubs have been record-label staples for a long time, made most famous by Sub Pop, which kicked its own off in 1988 with Nirvana’s “Love Buzz b/w Big Cheese.”
America Hearts went with D.C. labels Yeah Gates and Sockets for their previous singles, but the band isn’t working with any record company for its new project — or any records, actually. Through June, the band is instead playing monthly concerts at the Black Cat, where fans will receive a free download coupon for the new single at each show. The series started last month with the “Angsty” EP, and on Thursday the band will offer its new “Messy” EP.
If you missed the first concert — or if you’re stuck at home with an actual 4-year-old old — the singles-club songs are also available for purchase at Americahearts.com.