Girlpool – Before The World Was Big (Wichita)
CD | DL | LP
Girlpool are Los Angeles based duo Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad. Their sound is comprised only of a guitar, bass and their striking vocal harmonies. Louder Than War reviewed their Girlpool EP earlier this year and now they have released their first long player; Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham has been listening, read what he thinks below.
Girlpool manage to make guitar, bass and vocal harmonies sound wonderful. They can express far more emotion with just these notes and singing than many bands achieve with a wealth of instruments and studio power. Nothing is wasted, nothing is superfluous, each sound is exactly where it needs to be. Their voices move up and down with the music, adding to the emotional punch of the songs. It’s like they are singing just for you, sat in the corner of the room, you almost feel like you know them.
Girlpool are still young, both still teenagers and this makes this music even more special. That they can convey a worldly knowledge and understanding as pure as this album shows the beauty of a couple of youngsters focus and vision. The music is so simple that it sounds pure and fresh. That’s really something in this world of music everywhere we turn. The sound is measured and flowing. The bass and guitar echo each other and as I’ve already said, the vocal harmonies sound just right.
It’s storytelling and the words are easy to hear and decipher. The music goes from soft and gentle in ‘Dear Nora’ and ‘Pretty’, to harder and faster in ‘Magnifying Glass’ and ‘Ideal World’. Most of the album is describing things that have happened or where their emotions are right now. It’s a snapshot of two incredibly close teenage minds working together. At little over twenty minutes it’s not a long album, but that is countered by the urge to play it again as soon as it has finished.
I’ll leave the last word to Girlpool, ‘My mind is almost nineteen, and I still feel angry, I’m searching for the reason’. I hope they find it, but in the meantime keep making music like this.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More writing by Adrian can be found at his author’s archive.