Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bands I Love: Girls

Girls, Girls, Girls. Difficult to Google, but worth the searching. The duo, comprised of Christopher Owens and Chet "JR" White, take indie rock to a very Buddy Holly/Elvis Costello place. It's throwback vocals, influenced by Surf Pop Beach Boys music. The combination proves earnest and biting. His lyrics are so straightforward and heartbreaking, it makes you wonder what this poor kid has been through. Well, the story behind Girls' Christopher Owens is a shocking one to say the least. He grew up in the religious cult Children of God, which he left when he was 16-years-old. The experience of his upbringing has directly influenced the band's sound. He has said that it enabled him to write their debut release, Album, without any boundaries.

On the topic of the Children of God, Owens told FAQ Magazine, "They had some ideal that they could raise us and we’d be these perfect little Children of God. But it’s like horrible – it’s also beautiful, like – they meant well, I guess, even though a lot of things that they did were completely crazy... But the great thing – the great lesson, the great story for me, is there was only one generation – there were hippies that joined as teenagers, and then their kids. And as soon as we became adults, they were destroyed, because you can’t really tell people how to live their life, no matter how ideal... And so, as soon as everybody my age, or even starting before, like my oldest sister, became teenagers, the first thing we did is say, 'I wanna be my own person.'"

Their debut album created quite a buzz for the band, reaching #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers charts. Not only that, but Pitchfork gave the album a 9.1- which is pretty unheard of for the super pretentious website. I've loved pretty much every song off of Album since its 2009 release, and was OBSESSED with their 2010 EP, The Broken Dreams Club. I have been anxiously awaiting new tunes from Girls since then. Now, finally, the wait is over! NPR is streaming "Honey Bunny," a new song off of their upcoming album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost. It's apparently the 19th song he's ever written. How's that for making every other songwriter out there feel absolutely useless? It builds on the Girls sound we know and love, same reliable melodic vocals, but adds a bit more rockabilly vibe. I'm into it.

Whatever Owens has, it's something special. I saw Girls live last year and absolutely could not take my eyes off of him. He's magnetic and strangely terrifying, in the most beautiful way. Watching him onstage was like watching someone regurgitate all of his past internal conflicts and personal demons in-front of a couple hundred people. Definitely a show I won't soon forget.

Head over to NPR to hear "Honey Bunny" and watch these two music videos for some of their older songs that I'm in love with...

"Lust For Life"- semi NSFW

"Hellhole Ratrace"

"and i don't want to cry my whole life through,
i want to do some laughing too.
so come on, come on, come on, come on, laugh with me.
and i don't want to die without shaking up a thing or two,
yeah, i want to do some dancing too.
so come on, come on, come on, come on, dance with me."



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