The internet tells me that Girlpool is an LA folk punk band made up of Cleo Tucker on guitar and vocals & Harmony Tividad on bass & vocals.
First of all, I love the harmonies & I especially love the bass, which threads all the songs together in a kind of melancholy undertone in contrast to the melodic voices. Some of these songs are short frenetic bits of joy, others are mellow & full of langour.
Girlpool reminds me of a 21st century Indigo Girls & the Juno soundtrack but with a Lou Reed edge & a Hope Sandoval mellowness. They lyrics resonate for anyone who has ever felt awkward & young & still feels that way. “Is it pouring out my body, my nervous aching. I like that you can see it.”
“And if I told you I loved you, would you take it the wrong way? … Do you feel restless when you realize, you’re alive.” “I am nervous for tomorrow and today.” Chinatown.
“Tranquilize me with your ideal world.” Ideal World. (& then some fancy guitar work at the end.)
In “Dear Nora” they break into an acapella line & it’s gorgeous: “Dear Nora, A lot has changed this year. I’m still thinking about swimming in Seattle.”
I love the rhythm of the title track, "Before the World Was Big." “Walked around my neighbourhood, one hundred, one million, one billion, one trillion times. Every crack on the sidewalk below my feet…” “I just miss how it felt, standing next to you, wearing matching dresses, before the world was big.” There’s are a lot of really cool observations & unique terms of phrase in the lyrics. They sing that last line in a kind of round that reminds me of Row, Row, Row Your Boat & all those little kid songs you sing in the round.
Listen to this album when you’re walking down Bank Street (or whatever your version of Bank Street is, non-Ottawans), navigating afternoon civil servants on route to their coffee breaks.