Indie-pop Icicles Return from Dark Journey of Infertility and Postpartum Depression

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Indie pop band the Icicles have emerged from a three-year hiatus and are recording their forthcoming album Trees Touch Skies. The album is due out in fall 2015 and is available for pre-order online.

“It’s weathered, but not defeated,” Gretchen said. “The hooks are there, but the songs no longer need that extra dose of sugar.”

Indie-popsters the Icicles have emerged energized from a three-year hiatus in which band members saw the highs of childbirth and the lows of infertility and postpartum depression. This renewed creativity underpins the new album, Trees Touch Skies, which sees the band going back to it’s indie pop roots, doing what they do best — making pop songs that stick in your head and your heart.

The album is due out in fall 2015, and the Icicles are taking online pre-orders for the album at

Over the course of a 15-year career, the Icicles built a reputation for sugar-sweet sing-along confections. Their songs, like “La Ti Da” and “Sugar Sweet” were featured in commercials for Target and Motorola, and they toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Icicles fans accustomed to the bright, poppy sound of 2007’s breakthrough album Arrivals & Departures may have been jarred by 2012’s angsty follow-up, Renegade Parade. The album’s claustrophobic sonic textures and dark themes reflected primary songwriter, Gretchen DeVault’s struggles with depression and grueling regimen of infertility treatments. Guitarist Rebecca Rodriguez was also struggling with infertility and loss.

“Music was my outlet for expressing the hopelessness I was feeling,” Gretchen said. “It was a place to reflect on what my life had become and where I was going.”

The years 2010 through 2013 brought a welcomed baby boom. Rodriguez had her first son in 2010. Bass player Aaron Ekins had a son in 2011. DeVault and drummer Zane DeVault had twins in 2011. But the joy was accompanied by sorrow, as both DeVault and Rodriguez suffered from postpartum depression, which can be an aftereffect of infertility treatments.

The band hibernated, playing just a show here and there. Keyboardist Joleen Rumsey embarked on a series of musical projects. The DeVaults immersed themselves in design work and spent some time in Los Angeles, sparking their creativity. Rodriguez got back into her art of printmaking.

And as the period of storm and stress subsided into a new normal, the Icicles emerged with renewed vitality, crafting a more mature and confident pop.

“It’s weathered, but not defeated,” Gretchen said. “The hooks are there, but the songs no longer need that extra dose of sugar.”

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Gretchen DeVault
since: 05/2009
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