New Paltz, NY duo Diet Cig’s moniker is not only perhaps the badassely cutest I’ve heard this year, but their self-designation as “slop pop” is the most charmingly poignant I’ve heard in about half a dozen.  The relatively new band is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman, who first met at a house show when Alex was searching for a light.  This February Diet Cig released their debut EP, Over Easy, and their “Sleep Talk”/”Dinner Date” 7” dropped earlier this month.  Their sound is equal parts twee, lo-fi alt rock singer/songwriting, power pop infectiousness, and a slightly hushed riot grrrl.  I have described my favorite song of theirs, “Cardboard,” as something in-between Liz Phair and Bratmobile (Seriously, imagine a creature equal parts Ms. Phair, Allison Wolfe, and the chirping of Isobel Campbell in B&S.)

Diet Cig have already achieved some pretty cool digital whisperings from the likes of SPIN, Pitchfork, and Vanity Fair, and they’ve spent the past month on the road, and this Tuesday, September 29th, they will be playing the stage of our very own Ortlieb’s.  During a phone chat with the band this Sunday I ask them what have been the highlights of Diet Cig’s still blooming career and Alex tells me, “Last night, in Cincinnati, I got to crowd surf and play guitar together for the first time, which was like a highlight of my life,” while Noah adds, “Just being able to tour this much — this is our third tour this year — has been a huge highlight.”

I ask the band about their musical influences and they first seem at a loss, before Alex admits, “I definitely feel like I was really inspired by Frankie Cosmos, who just made me realize that anyone could create music and that gave me a lot of confidence to make music, but also bands like Diarrhea Planet, whose live shows have had a big impact on us.  We have a really energetic live show. It’s crazy, energetic, and gets everyone involved.” When I press further about what can be expected of Diet Cig’s set this Tuesday Alex tells me, “It’s gonna be like a big, fun dance party, super high energy.  It’ll be a short set, but we give everything live and usually wind up really sweaty really quickly.”  They also tell me they have quite a bit more touring in the works for the near future, in addition to new music.  When I ask about their plans for the remainder of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 Alex tells me, “We have so much going on.  In October we have so many shows and we’d like to get to work on a new album, and we have big, exciting tour plans for January… which we’re not quite yet allowed to talk about.”

In addition to their music, Diet Cig’s visual are also charming to a fucking nearly painful degree.  Their single “Scene Sick” is not only reminiscent of a postmodern punk take on the yé-yé soundtrack of Godard’s Masculin feminine, but its video is reminiscent of the pre-twee mod-ish boy/girl sensibilities found in much of the New Wave’s greatest works.  Likewise, their latest music video, for “Sleep Talk,” released just a week ago, is reminiscent of ’60s rebel cinema (both on this and the other side of the pond) as appropriated by the kind of brilliantly uncomplicated and short-winded work that wound up on 120 Minutes 20-some-odd years ago.  When I ask them about the inspirations behind their visuals, Alex confirms that this was definitely the idea: “When it comes to the visual stuff, we’re pretty simple and kind of cute and kind of fun and easy.”