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Dive into the dreamy, obscure sound of Chico’s latest band — Pheasant Club

A day out with Pheasant Club in Chico, Calif., on June 11, 2024.
Angel Huracha
/
NSPR
A day out with Pheasant Club in Chico, Calif., on June 11, 2024.

If you've ever driven through Biggs, Calif. you might have seen the dive bar that inspired the name of Chico’s latest band — Pheasant Club.

“It's kind of heavy. It's it's kind of shoegaze-y ... sort of songwriter-driven."
— Aric Jeffries, lead guitarist of Pheasant Club

“We have sort of an affinity for just dive bars and, you know, checking them out, see what's going on, especially somewhere like Biggs,” said Drummer Erik Elliott.

The group is creating quite a buzz in the local music scene.

Fronted by lead vocalist and songwriter Erin Lizardo, the Chico-based grit-dream pop quartet is packed with local music heavy hitters, including Elliott, Aric Jeffries on lead guitar, and Mathew Houghton on bass.

The Lace

All of the band members are involved or have been involved in some of Chico's most prominent acts, such as Black Magnet, DVOK, Cat Depot, Team Skins, and Solar Estates.

Lizardo said the band doesn’t have a single genre.

“I think we are open to whatever we sound like, it's a conversation we've had many times around that, that idea of what do we sound like? Or what are we trying to sound like?” Lizardo said.

It's a question the band said they've been asked many times too.

Pheasant Club performing at Argus Bar + Patio on June 13, 2024 in Chico, Calif.
Angel Huracha
/
NSPR
Pheasant Club performing at Argus Bar + Patio on June 13, 2024 in Chico, Calif.

“It's kind of heavy. It's it's kind of shoegaze-y a little bit, but it's not quite that really, it's still sort of songwriter-driven,” Jeffries said.

Collaboration comes naturally to the group. All members have been friends for a long time, and Elliott and Lizardo are married.

"I tend to write real free association, and I kind of let the lyrics and everything kind of take shape.”
— Erin Lizardo, vocalist and songwriter of Pheasant Club

Erin Lizardo of Pheasant Club performing at Argus Bar + Patio on June 13, 2024 in Chico, Calif.
Angel Huracha
/
NSPR
Erin Lizardo of Pheasant Club performing at Argus Bar + Patio on June 13, 2024 in Chico, Calif.

“We're all pretty familiar with each other as musicians, I feel like it's a pretty good mixture of what we all do separately,” Elliott said. “There's a little bit of everybody in there.”

Although their history together helps, Lizardo said the band is still a lot of work.

“Everything is work, you know, anything that's gonna mean something or be productive, it's just work,” she said.

This week, the band unveiled a new gloomy, synth-heavy song called “The Lace,” which was written by Lizardo.

“I tend to write real free association, and I kind of let the lyrics and everything kind of take shape,” Lizardo said.

The band is currently recording their debut album. They say they have a fair amount of tracks in the vault, but are currently finessing each one.

“I’d list them off right now, but don't want to give too much information,” said bassist Mathew Houghton. “Erin gives us a perfectly nice song, and we try and screw it up.”

Angel Huracha has been a part of the journalism field since 2006 and has covered a range of topics. He is a graduate of Chico State with a Bachelor's degree in news-editorial and public relations with a minor in English.