When the voices of musicians and best friends Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker sing together – sometimes in unison, sometimes in harmony – they grab your attention. The two 20-somethings’ special approach to indie pop makes you halt and listen as if their music is the only thing important right now. And it sort of is.
Girlpool’s music is both deadpan and intensely poetic as it explores themes of young womanhood, romance and existentialism with a nursery-rhyme-like eeriness. But what makes the band profoundly exciting, and differentiates them from their peers, is the unmistakable goosebump-inducing magic that bubbles up whenever the duo sings together.
With inspiration in 90s bands like Throwing Muses and The Breeders, Girlpool found their very own take on this left-of-centre alternative pop and rock music. It can be pretty, but they never pretty up their tunes. They are left standing as raw as they sound right out of the amps.
Girlpool first gave sound to the world in 2015. On their debut album Before the World Was Big the duo’s instrumentation was sparse with just an electric guitar and bass and, of course, the two voices carrying the songs. Girlpool inhabited an entire ecosystem in the space of a bedroom. The duo’s sophomore album, Powerplant, added a more fully fleshed sound but kept their lullaby-like qualities.
Girlpool’s third album is out 1 February. We are promised more signature guitar swells but also “drum machines and synthesizers and beautiful/new harmonies”. When you listen to the album’s first three singles, you can tell that Girlpool has progressed as a band. You will also notice that Cleo Tucker has moved down an octave when singing (listen to “Lucy’s”). Since the band’s last album Tucker had begun a non-binary ‘gender flow’ which affects the voice, now making it a hearty, wounded baritone.
When Girlpool plays Roskilde Festival 2019, they will perform as a trio. Definitely something to look forward to!