I thought I was pretty much done with new music for the year, but then I happened to stumble upon this San Francisco-based band, Girls. This “Album” came out a couple months ago, but it seems like it’s been ages since I’ve reviewed an album, and this is the first one that’s really grabbed me in a while.
The lead singer Christopher Owens, used to be part of the Children Of God cult, before escaping to live on the streets of San Fran at the age of 16. And the songs definitely have that feel that they’re coming from a guy who’s trying to move on from a confusing past through the power of pop songs. What first comes to mind when listening to this album is the sort of optimistic simplicity of early Beach Boys records, but the album also has this kind of beautiful sadness to it.
The guitar work for the most part has a a very clean sound, and most of the instrumentation overall is pretty simple, but they’re all there to serve these great little wistful love songs. However, there’s also songs like “Hellhole Ratrace” and “Morning Light” that wrap up these beautiful melodies in a wave of feedback and distortion.
I’ll admit that this kind of vintage 60’s pop sound doesn’t seem like a terribly original approach, but there’s something about the unabashed sincerity of the songwriting and the gentle production of the material. I found myself getting almost swept away by the nature of this album, and found it to be a nice little surprise at the end of what has been kind of a boring year for music.
Favorite Tracks: “Laura”, “Ghost Mouth”, “Summertime”