Concert preview: Colleen Green

Joel Oliphint

Colleen Green calls her new self-titled EP "Ramones-core," which is as good a starting place as any. Green plays pop-punk with twice the wit, none of the snarl and all of the hooks. Working as a one-woman band for years by relying solely on her electric guitar and a drum machine, Green released her best album yet,I Want to Grow Up, last year. With better fidelity and some live drums, the record ended up focusing her minimalist sound in all the right ways, with layered vocals that recall girl-group acts of yesteryear.

There's a chilly, detached quality to Green's singing, yet it retains a certain sweetness, like an ice cream cone that refuses to get all drippy. Her songs invite you into her head, where she casually drops some knowledge then seems to walk away, saying, "This is me; do with it what you will." Green often wrestles with relational intimacy in her music. "TV," for instance, is an ode to the ever-reliable inanimate object ("TV is my friend and it has been always there for me in time of need," she sings), while "Deeper than Love" is bracingly dark and brutally honest.

"Someday I hope for a lover to kill me; it's the closest I can hope to get to anybody," Green sings to open "Deeper," then launches impossible-to-answer questions into the ether: "Will I find a love that lasts long as my life? Or will I die before ever becoming a wife? And I'm wondering if I'm even the marrying kind. How can I give you my life when I know you're just gonna die?" It would all be overwrought if the music weren't so refreshingly uncomplicated and instantly singable.

Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls), Pretty Pretty and Tasty open the show.(Don't miss it)

Ace of Cups

9 p.m. Thursday, June 23

2619 N. High St., Old North