Eva Hendricks: Angsty Princess of Bubblegrunge

On this day in 2019, Charly Bliss’ Supermoon EP was released. A high-energy EP exploring the trials and tribulations of young adulthood, Supermoon perfectly exemplified the genius of Charly Bliss. At the heart of the band is lead singer Eva Hendricks. 

Charly Bliss is a Brooklyn-based power pop band that marries the pop and grunge genres to create the perfect music for the angsty yet magical era of life known as adolescence. Eva is accompanied by her brother, Sam Hendricks, on the drums, Spencer Fox on lead guitar, and Dan Shure on bass. The band has extraordinary chemistry and charisma, but it is Eva’s soul that the music seems to embody. 

Eva and her brother Sam grew up in Connecticut, where Eva began performing at a young age. She took part in musical theater, as well as singing jingles for local commercials. In her teens, she met Spencer Fox (a former child actor who had voiced Dash in the Pixar film The Incredibles) outside of the indie rock band Tokyo Police Club’s show. 

After high school in Connecticut, Eva went on to study music at NYU.

Toward the end of high school, the two began collaborating on songs, which they posted to YouTube. They eventually recorded an EP, simply called EP (2011), which consisted of much more acoustic and folk-style music than the music that they would go on to create. Recordings of these songs are still available to watch on YouTube. Watching these recordings and listening to the songs, Eva’s tenacious spirit and youthful charm are evident from the get-go. Eva’s coming-of-age experiences, navigating her sense of self and her love life, also clearly drive the music forward; one lyric in a song called “Some Girls” reads, “I don’t know what kind of girl I am, but I know that I ain’t yours.” The bright and energetic tone to Eva’s voice also adds to the music’s charm and appeal. Spencer and Eva even went on a short tour, which was mainly attended by friends and family, before Eva went on to study music at NYU. 

They came out with their second EP, A Lot to Say, in 2013. The band grew in size and popularity over the next few years; they took on Eva’s brother, Sam, to play guitar. They also recruited Dan Shure, who Spencer had gone to theater camp with, to play bass. They began to tour more consistently, opening for indie rock bands like Wolf Parade and Veruca Salt. 

In 2014, they released a third EP, titled Soft Serve. Still solidly in the indie rock category, Soft Serve is once again marked by the youthful, buoyant lilt in Eva’s voice as well as themes of girlhood that set apart the band, and Eva in particular, from the majority of the genre. The album was accompanied by a 3-part video series and a comic book trilogy. 

“Bubblegrunge” is a blend of bubblegum pop (a subgenre of pop music characterized by its catchy melodies, simple lyrics, and youthful, upbeat sound) and grunge music.

Charly Bliss began recording their first full album, Guppy, in a grunge style. However, when they realized that they all gravitated toward pop music, they scrapped the first recording and decided to re-record it with more of a pop influence. This gave rise to their signature style, what has been called “bubblegrunge.” The style is a blend of bubblegum pop (a subgenre of pop music characterized by its catchy melodies, simple lyrics, and youthful, upbeat sound) and grunge music. With Eva leading the way, Guppy perfectly embodies the glittery and dramatic world of a teenage girl, without shying away from the depth of that experience. As FF2 contributor Yoana Tosheva describes, “The upbeat tempo of most of the songs, along with arrangements that simply sound much more positive than what the lyrics unveil underneath, seems to me a more than fitting metaphor in and of itself for people’s perception of girlhood.”

Charly Bliss’ next album, Young Enough, came out in 2019. Though it still captures the spirit of the first album, this next one is a slower, more reflective album, marked by Eva’s growing and maturation as she gets older. The songs explore, for instance, Eva’s experiences in an abusive relationship that she was able to get out of. The sound of the album mimics this tone. As Yoana Tosheva puts it, “The band’s sound on this record is more mellow. None of the songs really reach the crescendo or anger of the first record. Instead, they are interested in sitting with discomfort and what might come up when they do.” The songs of their next EP, Supermoon, were recorded at the same time as Young Enough, extending and deepening the story that Young Enough tells. 

Charly Bliss’s music flows from her authenticity.

From performing songs for YouTube in a pink bedroom with walls covered in photos to highly critically acclaimed studio albums and widely successful tours, Eva has never failed to be authentically herself. Charly Bliss’s music flows from her authenticity and it is absolutely infectious because of that. Eva has paved the way for a generation of young women who are enthusiastic and skeptical, playful and angry, and girly and grunge.   

© Julia Lasker (10/30/2023) FF2 Media


Read Yoana Tosheva’s tribute to Eva Hendricks here. 

Watch Charly Bliss’ EP on Youtube here. 

Stream Charly Bliss’ music here. 


Featured Photo: Members of Charly Bliss (clockwise): Eva Hendricks with Dan Shure, Spencer Fox, and Sam Hendricks in New York, New York. ©2020 Dan Bassini

Bottom Photo: Follow this link for album info: https://charlybliss.bandcamp.com/album/you-dont-even-know-me-anymore

Courtesy of Grandstand Media. Images used by FF2 with permission. All Rights Reserved.

Tags: A Lot to Say, Bubblegrunge, Bubblegum Pop, Charly Bliss, EP, Eva Hendricks, female singer, female songwriter, Grunge, Guppy, Soft Serve, Supermoon EP, Young Enough

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As an associate for FF2 Media, Julia writes reviews and features for films made by women. She is currently a senior at Barnard College studying Psychology. Outside of FF2, her interests include acting, creative writing, thrift shopping, crafting, and making and eating baked goods. Julia has been at FF2 for almost 4 years, and loves the company and its mission dearly.
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