Audrey Mardavich does not regret that candy, Internet friends and The Anniversary dominated a large portion of her adolescence.

This flowchart represents how Rose Melberg came to be one of my favorite female musicians.

Red=what I deem to be important connections and pink=Melberg moments in time. [Click to enlarge.]

Melberg’s Music

Tiger Trap: “Puzzle Pieces”

The Softies: “I Love You More”

Go Sailor: “Silly”

Gaze: “Bob Again”

Rose Melberg Solo

In an interview with David Greenwald of Cokemachineglow, Melberg says

I was just so into music as a teen. Just obsessed with records and going to shows and sneaking in and y’know, having the faking ID not even to drink but to get into bars to go see bands. I really didn’t have much of a desire to be a musician, I just wanted to be in a band. So it was really more of this idea of my friend Angela and I, it was like, “we have to be in a band.”

We didn’t really have idea of what we would actually do or what we would actually play or what we were able to play, it was just the idea of something we had to do. I just wanted to be a part of the thing I loved so much, it wasn’t so much about the craft of songwriting or anything like that. That really evolved over time, my whole approach to that and being more thoughtful about how I wrote songs. In the beginning, it was just like, we had to have something to play, so I guess I better write some songs. And that’s why a lot of the early songs are just really really dumb because we had no idea what we were doing. It’s a great way to learn, it’s a great motivator.

Rose’s music came to me when I needed her most—when I was learning about love and hers was that voice singing the songs I wished I could be singing. She sang about feeling embarrassed and shy, about loving someone so much that you knew it was sort of messed up but you did it anyway, and also about the importance of friendships with other women (who doesn’t want to be in a band with their best friends?). It was perfect music for a nerdy adolescent girl. Twee and indie pop musicians (especially female ones) have been accused of playing naive, foolish music—but Melberg’s music isn’t silly—it’s emotional and authentic.

In an interview with Chris Zieglar in the L.A. Record:

Zieglar: Jen from the Softies said someone has to really hurt her before she’ll write about it. Are you the same way?

Melberg: In the old days I was like that. A lot of the songs were coming from that place. My song writing has evolved a bit in that I don’t only write from pain or anger. But it does quite a bit come from… not necessarily sadness but those parts of you that don’t feel complete. Whether it’s confusion or a sadness or concern—those things that feel undone or unresolved. That’s why you write the song—you put it into place and you make sense of it. I also feel a need for a little bit more privacy when I write now. I have a family—I have a child that when he’s grown-up, I don’t want him to see our whole life spelled out for everyone to see. And yet these are still the things that I want to be writing about because it’s my sadnesses and my concerns. These things are still what make me sit down and write a song against my better judgment.

I still listen to all of Rose Melberg’s bands. I go to them when I want to feel good and hurt. I’ve learned a little bit more about love and friendship and being a woman since I was 14 years old buying a Go Sailor CD but, even her oldest songs still hold up. Maybe it’s because this is the music I fell in love to or fell asleep to or X-nostalgic thing, but it resonated with me because it’s great pop music. It’s sweet and sad and SO IS LIFE.

Rose Melberg is in a new band called Brave Irene. Check out their new record coming out in March from Slumberland Records.