Tough Love/Slumberland Records
The New Life
Lo-fi Irish four-piece Girls Names are to release their second album this month on record label Tough Love in Europe and with Slumberland Records in the US. The noise pop, surf rockers are following up on their well received debut Dead To Me which was released in 2011. Formed in 2009, Girls Names’ singer/guitarist and songwriter Cathal Cully and drummer Neil Brogan started out as a two-piece before Claire Miskimmin joined on bass the following year and Charles Hurts guitarist Philip Quinn was added to the line-up in 2012.
Short opening sequence “Portrait” is an enticing arrangement of spaced out …before
“Pittura Infamante” showcases the band’s lo-fi guitar sounds and vocals of Cully; “Thinking to bury your past, I’ll never live that sharp, your choice to be the last” he sings like there’s other things he’d rather be doing. And the album feels like that – cool, unbothered, low fidelity that’s got it’s own pace. “Drawing Lines” sees the twangy guitar stand out more prominently than the faded vocals the merge into spacey, melodic, progressions. “Hypnotic Regression” has guitar echoes that add to the hypnotic vibes the title suggests. Lo-fi jangly guitar prick up the ears again before more urgent strumming intervenes.
“A Second Skin” is a more upbeat track with quicker rhythm and a less hypnotic feel. “Forgot ourself again, so hard as to escape” Cully sings – the lyrics in The New Life to do with a new start, memory and forgetting. The guitar continues on it’s lo-fi journey with more dramatic echoes and brief a slowing down of tempo for a segment of the track. “Projektion” opens with popping, bouncing noises under twangy, Surfer Blood style guitar with a driving rhythm. Cully sings; “This is no secret, words may fail but the rabbit’s on your face. Stay relative to the distance..” the rabbit perhaps a reference to the use of a projection of the image or a metaphor for something else. And the track goes on in a similarly ambiguous way.
Title and closing track “The New Life” ends Girls Names’ second album with a more decisive feel – the melody and rhythm are constant whilst some sound effects alter the music slightly and produce the layered, noisy, dreamy lo-fi noises they are known for.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh