It may not have shown in her music until now, but Abby Jeanne is a New Wave enthusiast. Though she’s better known for the soul, classic rock and psychedelia of her recent records, Jeanne spent her teenage years immersed in the moody, gothy sounds of bands like Bauhaus, Tones on Tail and Siouxsie and The Banshees, and she channels that muse on her new single, “Get You High.”
“I started writing it last summer, and it just sounded totally different from anything I’d written before,” Jeanne says of the synthy dream-pop song. “I’ve always been influenced by old New Wave bands, but none of my songs have ever really sounded like them before this. I’ve always seen my main instrument as my voice, so I don’t focus on a genre. I don’t ever set to capture a particular sound, but this time those influences just poured out of me.”
Jeanne is releasing the song as a 7-inch, which includes a remix from Bauhaus’s Daniel Ash and a cover of “Spellbound” by Siouxsie and The Banshees. And in the spirit of the 7-inch, she came up with something a little different for the release party. She’ll be turning her old haunt Hi-Fi Cafe into Milwaukee’s late, iconic record store Atomic Records for the night.
Consider the event an early Halloween celebration of sorts. In keeping with the retro mood of the night, Jeanne’s manager Dan Backhaus and Atomic Records founder Rich Menning are restoring the store’s old neon signs for the Oct. 12 event. “We are gonna dress up the cafe as Atomic Records from the outside — both neon signs, caution tape, everything,” Backhaus says. “We’re even making batch of Atomic shirts that match the 7-inch art.”
The single is even being released on Atomic Records, along with Jeanne’s label Hi-Fi Records, as both a 7-inch and a cassette, both of which will be on sale at the release party. Menning, who has continued to set up periodic Atomic Records pop-up shops at record conventions, will be on site from 2-3 p.m.
“Atomic Records was the first record store that I ever walked foot into as a young kid,” Jeanne says. “Anybody that listened to underground, indie or New Wave music in Milwaukee was buying records at Atomic, so I thought it would be amazing to revive it and keep its legacy going.”
The day will play out in two phases, Jeanne says. The afternoon will have more of a low-key hangout vibe, then at night it will become more of a dance party as Jeanne plays some of her favorite goth and New Wave music, with an emphasis on bands like The Cure and Joy Division.
You can stream “Get You High” below.