Two Killer New Tracks From Girlpool and Alt-J

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Girlpool – “123”

Girlpool is a quirky little folk punk band that began life in 2015 as a duo. Cleo Tucker on guitars and Harmony Tividad on bass showed some great instincts with a fresh-sounding give-and-take both instrumentally and vocally, plus a willingness to push the envelope a bit. They sounded raggedy, raw and unpolished, but still a little too much on the cloying side of endearing for my tastes.

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For their second album Girlpool is already having their Dylan-goes-electric moment. They brought in a drummer, fundamentally transforming their sound, and I think it was a smart move. The first single “123” shows they’ve kept the great natural rapport of their playing and vocals, but the drumming somehow gives it an emotional authority it didn’t have before. From frippery to trippery in one easy step, I suppose. The new album Powerplant drops May 12, and I’m very curious to see how it all sounds.

 

Alt-J – “3WW”

I’ve been a fan of Alt-J through their first two records but their new album Relaxer due out in June might see them rising to another level, judging by the first single “3WW”. I think this is a brilliant piece of work. Think of Traffic’s “John Barleycorn” set to an electronic chill beat – the big thundering electronic bass boom and electronic clicks – adorned with some very sweet acoustic guitar and piano flourishes. Robby Krieger’s licks on The Doors’ “The End” will come to mind too.

But it’s not that straightforward. Things change. The song has its own logic and structure. It imperceptibly shifts and slides in mood and tone and instrumentation until it reaches the peak of a hill in the lyric’s rural English countryside, exploding into a breathtaking chorus of voices:

Oh, these three worn words
Oh let me whisper like the rubbing hands
Of tourists in Verona
I just want to love you in my own language

Is it electronica, is it Prog, I have no idea what to call it. It’s not quite like anything I’ve heard before. It’s a bundle of delights.

 

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2 comments on “Two Killer New Tracks From Girlpool and Alt-J
  1. Pingback: Watch The Fabulous Alt-J Perform New Single On Fallon | Rocknuts

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