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Formerly operating under the acoustic-focused moniker For Those Who Cannot See, Montclair-based artist Nicolle Maroulis is now stepping out with a bold new sound as Hit Like A Girl. Maroulis, who identifies as non-binary shared in an extensive feature with New Noise Magazine, “I’ve noticed there are band names that are gender-specific that don’t identically match the genders of the band members, but I also don’t really believe gender exists at all at the end of the day. I’m hoping to have this whole ‘Rosie The Riveter’ feel to us.”
With that, Hit Like A Girl is now sharing their debut album, You Make Sense, a collection of eight deeply personal odes to love and love lost with a rock sound reminiscent of Waxahatchee, Jay Som or Soccer Mommy.
To go along with a stream of the record, we sent Maroulis some interview questions. Check it all out below and be sure to click through on the Bandcamp embed to order your copy of You Make Sense.
Hi, Hit Like A Girl! Congrats on your new album. Can you tell us a little more on who you are and how you first got into making music?
Hey, thank you so much! So yeah, my name is Nicolle Maroulis, I’m 25, and I live in Montclair, NJ. The story on how I first got into music is kind of a funny one. When I was in middle school, my two girlfriends and I wanted to start a girl band.
My friend Dana already played a little drums, our friend Ariel already played guitar, and our friend Katherine played piano, so that just left out bass. I begged my parents to get me a bass guitar so we can start this band! They got me one for my birthday, and my friends and I met up for our first band practice. We covered “Dammit” by Blink182 and then never practiced again. I, however, continued to play and practice and eventually picked up other instruments along the way!
What’s your songwriting process like? Who are some of your biggest influences?
For me, the songwriting process is simple actually. Someone once told me that if the song doesn’t just “pour out of you,” then it wasn’t meant to be. So if I hit a wall, I usually put it down and return to it later.
A lot of my lyrics actually come from me just sitting in my car. Right now my biggest influence is definitely Julien Baker, but for the record, I’d say my biggest influences were a mix between Allison Weiss, Kevin Devine, and Taylor Swift.
What is “It’s Always You” about? How did it come to be?
“It’s Always You” is about a love interest (as is almost every song on the record). About 3 years ago I had just moved back to New Jersey after living in the Poconos for a year, got a job at Guitar Center, and developed a big crush on one of my co-workers who I wound up dating for the next two years.
This person was in a band, and I was so smitten about it that the song kind of just poured out of me!
What are some of the larger themes at play on You Make Sense?
So “It’s Always You” is about one ex, “Almond Eyes” and “Ukulele Song” are about my most recent ex, but all of the other songs are about one girl in particular who really made an impact on me.
We were only “together” for no more than a month, and we never established a physical relationship, but I could never get over the idea that she was meant for me. It ended abruptly due to the poor timing and unfortunate circumstances going on in my life at the time, but I wrote all these songs hoping maybe she’d hear them one day and come around because she makes sense to me (see what I did there).
Could you tell us more about No More Dysphoria?
No More Dysphoria is a non-profit organization run by myself and Alex Dobrowolski of the band Sunrot. Our primary goal is to raise money and help transgender individuals pay for major aspects of their transitions including but not limited to therapy, hormone replacement therapy, gender reassignment surgery, etc. At the moment, we affiliate mostly with our local music community and operate on a DIY level.
Any new artists/venues/purveyors of the arts you could turn our readers onto?
As far as artists, I’d love to shout out my friends in Forever Losing Sleep, Sunrot, Archie Alone, and Blue Heaven. My favorite New Jersey venues are of course The Meatlocker in Montclair, Stevens in Hoboken, and Boontunes in Boonton.
My favorite artists are Haunted By Shapes (handcrafted wood art), and Bead Fiend (trendy, political, spooky, handmade jewelry).
Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?
My next show in NJ will be an acoustic performance November 10th in Boonton, NJ
Any parting thoughts? Open platform!
Hit Like A Girl will be going on tour this November as a full band! Catch us at any of the shows and hang out with us!
November 17th- Richmond, VA
November 18th- Boone, NC
November 19th- Nashville, TN
November 20th- Bloomington, IN
November 21st- Cincinnati, OH
November 22nd- Akron, OH
Also, thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far and continue to support me. I love you all ❤