Versions of Modern Performance (Matador)

Contact Jessica Linker about Horsegirl

Chicago band HorsegirlNora Cheng (guitar, vocals), Penelope Lowenstein (guitar, vocals), and Gigi Reece (drums) – unveil a new single/video, “Dirtbag Transformation (Still Dirty),” from their debut album, Versions of Modern Performance, out June 3rd on Matador. In-step with a string of incredibly well-received singles, “Dirtbag Transformation (Still Dirty)” is a scuffed up, guitar-driven piece of garage-pop. The tracks’ lyrics brim with alliteration and slanted rhymes, and as the instrumentation rises, the song rides out with a chorus of “oohs.” For the song’s video, Horsegirl and friends, many of whom will play the Horsegirl record release party, were given the reins to Lowenstein’s elementary school where they filmed all day last month. As a band who do everything as a unit, from songwriting to trading vocal duties and swapping instruments to sound and visual art design, this new video captures the essence of this trio’s special bond.


The band elaborates: “The three of us filmed the ‘Dirtbag Transformation (Still Dirty)’ video over one day in Penelope’s elementary school. The video provides a small look into our Chicago youth scene—it includes members of bands like Lifeguard, Friko, Dwaal Troupe, and Post Office Winter all grouped into oddball bands with weird gimmicks. We always have the best time making our videos with our friends in spaces we feel connected to. All of our friends showed up with various assortments of clothing and props, like wooden spoons, a bowling shirt collection, and an accordion. We wanted to harness the strangeness of everything that was brought to us, and wanted to showcase all of the people and bands that mean so much to us.


Chicago is baked into the core of Versions of Modern Performance. Cheng (she/her), Lowenstein (she/her) and Reece (they/them) learned to play—and met—through the significant network of Chicago youth arts programs, and they have their own mini-rock underground. They’re exultant about their friends’ talent, noting that any of the bands from that scene could have been (or might still be!) plucked up the way they were. Across the album, recorded at Chicago’s Electrical Audio with John Agnello, there’s elements of the ‘80s and ‘90s independent music the band love so deeply and sincerely. But as Horsegirl fuse all of this together, it feels not like a pastiche or a hacky retread but something as playful and unique as its predecessors.


Horsegirl will celebrate Versions of Modern Performance with a record release show June 5th at Thalia Hall (the same day Lowenstein graduates high school). Alongside performances from Horsegirl and friends, there will be a special zine sale at the venue (youth zines will be prioritized). Then, the band will tour across Europe and much of the United States, playing most cities for the first-time ever. After selling out three London shows, the band has just announced a fourth due to popular demand. A full list of dates can be found below and tickets for all shows are on sale now.



    Jun 15, 2024
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Bottlerocket Social Hall

    Jun 16, 2024
    Cleveland Heights, OH
    Grog Shop

    Jun 17, 2024
    Columbus, OH
    Rumba Cafe

    Jun 18, 2024
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Bell's Eccentric Cafe

    Jun 20, 2024
    Detroit, MI
    Third Man Records

    Jun 21, 2024
    Toronto, ON
    Velvet Underground

    Jun 22, 2024
    Buffalo, NY
    Rec Room

    Jun 23, 2024
    Kingston, NY

    Jun 25, 2024
    Portland, ME

    Jun 26, 2024
    Portsmouth, NH
    The Press Room

    Jun 27, 2024
    Brattleboro, VT
    The Stone Church

    Jun 28, 2024
    North Adams, MA
    Mass MoCa