Fresh Stream




Northern Irish gloom-gurus Girls Names dropped their newest album The New Life back in February, and I’ve made few mistakes in my life as shameful as putting off listening to it. The larger-than-life vocals, the snappy dance beats, the enveloping sound all work together to craft a sound that would seem equally as fitting for summer listening as for winter tunage (or fall or spring, for that matter). The album opens with the ethereal organ circles of “Portrait” (there are tons of ‘circles’ in this album) which slide into the peggy bass and synth wails of “Pittura Infamante”; the song is the sonic version of one of those blacklight felt paintings of Morissey but still takes the time to nod to the band’s close ties with Wavves in its surf-tinged solo. “Occultation” spins you in infinite circles: never-ending melodic loops are expanded with heavy flange and chorus, while the simplistic punchy drumbeats keep the tune from floating off. The band’s washy surf ties show up again in “The Olympia”, but this time they’re superimposed on fierce Arabic maqamat and energetic guitar riffs, tossing the listener back and forth between a haboob and a Californian beach party. The title song closes this groover of an album, and does not disappoint. As the stringy bass plunks away and the drummer keeps on doing what he’s been doing all along, the guitar spins mysterious chords into melodic circles that never truly resolve, so when the track recovers after the lash-out at 3:32, you know you’re in for a mix of ‘mesmerizing’ and ‘violent’. The tinny fuzzed-up axe bleeds a solo, the band goes on escapade, the album gyrates and creeks and finally spins out like a wooden top gone awry – and I’m begging for more of those damned circles. Grab a copy from Slumberland and get thoroughly trance-ed before the week winds up again.

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