Picked to Click 2016 No. 10: Lunch Duchess

Lunch Duchess

Lunch Duchess Chloe Krenz

On My Mom Says I Have a Rich Inner Life, Katharine Seggerman makes musical choices, but also leaves listeners with their own.

“I think I like the idea of [the EP] being soothing sonically, like being a lullaby,” says the singer, songwriter, and drummer known as Lunch Duchess. “But [with] the lyrics being a little disturbing — you can choose your path.”

The lyrical candor, plus the EP’s title and lunch lady-inspired art, is “kind of aggressively uncool” she adds. “It’s kind of a joke — you can be in on it, if you want.”

The four-song grunge-pop effort is a cathartic lark tracing Seggerman’s raw spectrum of emotions. Rhythmically, the songs have a mellow waltz vibe, eliciting a timelessness, a generation-spanning charm. The grungier elements come courtesy of guttural guitar licks and synth layering.

Lunch Duchess is an ever-evolving project rotating on the axis of Seggerman’s psyche. In the Rich Inner Life era, she’s joined by guitarist Matt Graves, keyboardist Nicky Leingang, and bassist Ranelle Johnson. Seggerman says that lineup is certain to change.

“It’s a matter of finding someone I click with,” she says. “The EP is really inspired by Gravey’s [guitar] work.”

She’s in no rush. Lunch Duchess recorded last December, released the EP in March, gigged around town, and then logged 5,000 miles of touring in June and July. For now, Seggerman is taking a breather. She burned out in a splendid array of feelings, each expressed with a little wink. Like the brilliant fall colors that arrived this fall, there are bright, happy yellows and blunt oranges, angry deep reds and lusty light pinks, all tinged with the tawny touch of her levity.

Seggerman says her music has no unifying message, but she understands how the underlying feminism rings out, stating, “I’m reflecting how the world feels about me — my emotions aren’t valid because I am an over-emotional woman, my reactions are not rational.”

She responds with her tone, singing like a chirping pop star. It’s a wry way of subverting preconceived notions. The Lunch Duchess will serve you, but it will be slop. There’s something extra sharp in bucking norms by imploding them, exposing absurd standards through gentle mockery.

At the same time, get over yourself. Be depressed, laugh — it’s all part of the process. The Lunch Duchess persona came to Seggerman on a whim, and she went with it. As for the EP’s title:

“I’m pretty sure my mom said that to me on the phone. I was maybe complaining about jobs or not being engaged at work. ‘Well, Katherine, you have a rich inner life.’ Thanks, Mom. That makes me sound like a big loser. So I made it my album title so everyone knows I’m a big loser.”

The EP is a lovely, soothing, engaging winner. Get excited for the next course.

Click here to see the rest of the 2016 Picked to Click class.