So Pretty
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So Pretty

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Punk




"So Pretty- Enough"

Although it’s been three years since punk-by-way-of-grunge-and-metal phenoms So Pretty released their album “Suck It Up,” the band has stayed busy, collaborating with rap duo Glitter Moneyyy, starting families, and generally keeping the spirit of Chicago’s underground scene elevated.

But now, the riotous four-piece — comprised of Ashley Holman, James Seminara, Rachel Manter and Stefan Lindgren — is ready to release its newest album, “Vs Me,” to the world.

If lead single “Enough” is any indication, the group is just as high energy and righteously angry as ever before. Clocking in at under two minutes, “Enough,” blasts through one’s gut from its first few seconds and refuses to let go. “Find another queen, yeah, find another queen,” they shout throughout, turning the simple line into a battle cry. Meek, they are not.

Celebrate the release of “Vs Me” at the group’s record release show, which promises the same sort of spontaneous high-energy performances that have made them local legends in a quick amount of time. Diarrhea Sprinkles and The God Awful Small Affairs open. - Chicago Tribune

"Chicago-based alternative rock band So Pretty drop a raucously rousing new tune."

Chicago-located independent alternative rock band So Pretty, which formed in 2015, belies their name with their grungy sound and punk attitude. They mix energetic garage punk with right-on riot grrrl defiance on their dynamic tunes.

Set to release their upcoming album VS Me on March 13th, band members Rachel Manter (guitar, vocals), Ashley Holman (guitar, vocals), James Seminara (bass), and Stefan Lindgren (drums) have put their all into their catchy and vivid songs.

Rebel Noise is stoked to host the premiere of the LP’s lead-off track “Enough.” It’s a gritty and fierce number that scrambles fast with distorted and elastic guitar riffs, bottom-heavy bass line, rapidly bashed drum beats, and slammed cymbals.

Dual vocals from Manter and Holman counter each other, moving from ferocious exclamations on the mad-dashing verses to a sing-song sway on the choppily churning chorus sections, and then merging at the end in a noisy sonic/vocal collision. - Rebel Noise

"So Pretty is also so impatient"

"We're fairly impatient people," said Ashley Holman of the band So Pretty. "I mean, if you meet any of us, we don't like waiting for anything." That ethos applies to nearly all aspects of the band's career — from its formation, to the recording sessions, to its connections within the Chicago musical and feminist communities. And fans, many of whom are unaware of this perspective, eagerly gobble up So Pretty's brand of rock. Filled with abrasive guitar, riot grrl-like vocals and hard-rock-meets-punk rhythms, So Pretty (consisting of Holman, Rachel Manter, Stefan Lindgren and James Seminara) has found footing in Chicago by pushing against the most popular local music trends (jangly guitar rock, pretty synth pop) to create a sound that is at once familiar and unique.

Formed by Holman and Manter, So Pretty was a reaction to the desire for more creative drive from its founders. Holman and Manter both wanted to expand their musical experience, and created a band in order to do so. "Neither one of us knew how to play guitar, but we both wanted to learn for a really long time and we kind of felt like if we did it together and we kind of taught each other how to do it, we could start a new band together," Holman said.

As vocalists in different music projects around Evanston, the group pursued the guitar as an outlet for more creative control. "I feel like sometimes when you're just a singer in a band, you don't always have incredible creative control when it comes to the musical aspect of it," Holman said. "It's more about the lyrics."

On the hunt for a female drummer and bass player to complete their vision of an all-female group, the women added Holman's boyfriend and Manter's brother as temporary replacements. "We had wanted it to be an all-female group because so much of our aesthetics, so many of our ideas, our background has to do with feminism," Holman said.

Chicago is filled with talented female musicians, but they are in such high demand that it is difficult to find the right person who can fit another project into their schedule. "We're a very fast-paced band," Holman said. "If someone wasn't going to be able to commit to the amount of time and effort we needed out of them, I didn't want to play music with them." Eventually, they realized the current lineup was a good match and the group continues to write and perform with its original four members.

Time works differently for the group. The band officially formed in June of last year and by August, it played its first show. Rather than spend hours slaving over its music or its performance style, So Pretty has embraced a ferocious and confident spirit that drives the group seemingly into uncharted territory and come out on the other side unscathed. For example, it refuses to tweak its music to excess. The band's first album, "Savior Girl," was recorded over the course of a weekend.

As Holman explains, focusing too much on crafting the best potential version of the song ultimately takes away from the creation process and the music itself. "I'm not a perfect guitar player. I'm not a perfect singer," Holman said. "Nobody in this band has those tendencies. … I think this band just wants the best version of ourselves to be the most honest and our most honest is that we're flawed." - The Chicago Tribune

"So Pretty Album Release Show Review"

It is always exciting when a band you love performs. When they are doing a record release there is a special energy. So Pretty took two years to make VS Me, and the atmosphere wasn’t just celebratory, it was a party. There was dancing and singing and thrashing, echoing the energy of So Pretty’s performance.
They threw themselves around the stage with abandon. The way they moved balanced the violence with silliness. A pure expression of the music and emotions. Ashley Holman had a hardcore streak that was shown in full glory on “Manhandler” and hit home with emotional heft on “Mother Mother.” When Rachel Manter took over the vocals she showed range, singing with sonorous or screeching emotion. She took “Full Rabbit” to a point of cathartic exhaustion not captured on the album. I am so glad I got to see that performance. Truly breathtaking. James Seminara’s bass playing was equally arresting throughout. Moving back and forth. Balancing on his toes and then folding over his bass. Stefan Lindgren’s drumming was faaaast whenever given the opportunity, and always had punch.The rhythm section was featured to great effect in “Limbo.” The funk was thick and delicious. But even when they bring the funk, they still have some thrash. Eventually a mosh broke out, which is not easy to do with a small crowd; but like I said before, this crowd was devoted to the music and when the music demands richoteing bodies, they would go to any lengths to comply. Their devotion pulled the band up to another level. A seemingly impossible thing given the already killer performance. Holman kneeled at the edge of the stage, letting members of the audience surge forward and thrash the strings of her guitar. That trust and connection to their crowd was powerful. When they ended their set they spoke of how important music is to their lives and how it should be open to anyone. The band had a guitar they intended to gift to a friend that couldn’t afford to buy one for themself. It was a surprise, and unfortunately they ended up having to work. But the band gave this message to us all: You don't have to be good, or have time. You just need to love music, and have people who support you. And a guitar.
-Tina Mead - Chicago Crowdsurfers

"So Pretty- VS Me - Album Review"

Don’t be fooled by the band name! Chicago punks So Pretty can be described in many ways- aggressive, bizarre, diverse, energetic, fun- but pretty does not typically come to mind. V.S. Me is the band’s third album in five years and the long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s Suck It Up. This album was funded by Kickstarter and demonstrates the band’s claim that their music is not DIY but DIT (do-it-together). This is an important point that all bands and fans should take to heart- no artist exists in a vacuum and can thrive alone. So Pretty’s brand of punk takes influence from a wide variety of genres and injects some much needed new ideas in an increasingly homogenous scene.
V.S Me opens strong with “Enough”, an aggressive fist-pumper that is a surefire crowd pleaser. The following track, “Underwater Taco Party Night,” takes the album in a quirkier direction and feels like a modern, punkier version of The B-52’s “Rock Lobster.” This track was inspired by a teen’s story from The Sing Me A Story Foundation, a nonprofit organization that enables kids currently in hospitals, hospice care, and group homes to write and illustrate their own stories. These stories are then sent to songwriters who turn them into songs, record them, and send the recordings back to the kids. This fun track showcases both So Pretty’s immense talent and kind-hearted nature.
The following track, “Cool Dude, You’re Projecting”, takes influence from reggae and ska and features shared vocals from bassist James Seminara and his sister, guitarist/singer Rachel Manter. “Ain’t That Just The Way” continues the reggae-inspired sound and even incorporates some surf riffs reminiscent of bands like La Luz and Chicago peers Ovef Ow. “Full Rabbit” steers the album back to traditional punk, while the slow-burning “Proxy” delves into grunge. V.S. Me ends on a high note with the piano backed spoken-word monologue “Apologies.” This track demonstrates So Pretty’s wide emotional range and is in stark contrast to lighthearted songs about underwater taco parties.
Overall, the originality and sonic diversity on V.S Me is highly impressive. These 7 tracks feel that they could have easily been made by 7 different bands, yet the album still feels like a cohesive unit. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer! The 23 minutes flew by way too fast and left me craving more. Go on Bandcamp and give this album a listen now!

-Eric Wiersema - Chicago Crowdsurfers


  • VS Me - 2020
  • Suck It up - 2017
  • Savior Girl - 2015



So Pretty demolishes the standard definition of a band, relying on the
ideas of accessibility, inclusion, and a lack of hierarchy. With an
instrumental game of hot potato and no discernible lead vocalist, So
Pretty prefers to keep their fans guessing and entertained. Started in
Chicago in 2015 they have still refused to pick a genre but have spread
their music as far away as the UK. A four piece outfit, So Pretty runs
the gamut, being described as party punk, angry pop, garbage grunge, and
just plain unconventional. Their high energy live performances and
spontaneity has garnered them a die hard fan base and a reputation for
blurring the line between audience and performer

Band Members