Track Of The Day: Argonaut – ‘Girl Talk’

Since releasing their third album Forever last year, London band Argonaut have undergone a line-up change incorporating additional female members including former luminaries of legendary indie groups Hefner and Monochrome Set and UK Riot Grrrls Linus. Now, with their latest EP, appropriately entitled The New Argonaut EP, the band have stayed true to their DIY roots with this collection of infectious offerings.

Taken from the EP, latest single ‘Girl Talk’ is an empowering, punk-pop anthem. With motivational lyrics such as “You rock, you can change the world, you inspire boys and girls, you can do anything!”, it’s the perfect pick-me-up to kick start the new year. Filled with shimmering hooks and a magnificent punk-rock spirit, it’ll leave you ready to face 2019 with all the immense, buoyant energy that it oozes.

Filmed on Hampstead Heath, the video for ‘Girl Talk’ is available to watch now:

The New Argonaut EP is out now, order here. And catch Argonaut live for us at The Finsbury, next Friday 11th January, supporting Wolf Girl!

Mari Lane
@marimindles

 

EP: Argonaut – ‘The New Argonaut EP’

Whilst the original Argonauts were heroes of ancient times, sailing off on an epic quest in search of mythic treasure, the more singularly named Argonaut represent a group of indie-pop heroines creating their own musical treasure. Since releasing third album Forever last year, the band have undergone a line-up change, incorporating additional female members including former luminaries of legendary indie groups Hefner and Monochrome Set and UK Riot Grrrls Linus. Despite that lineage, the five-piece are still true to their DIY roots, The New Argonaut EP was recorded near live at Bally Studios with reassuringly light production.

The Riot Grrrl + indie-pop sandwich structure of the band is reflected in the EP’s running order. Opener ‘You Are’, with its gutter-deep bassline, Slits-style harmonies and choppy lead guitar, has a sinister and bitter irony in its simplicity. “You are a beautiful creature” is the refrain in the chorus – a celebration of women, possibly, or maybe also a comment on the less than charming ways men like to describe them. Closer ‘Girl Talk’ reprises the deep-bass and slashy guitar, but in more praiseworthy, upbeat style. It’s middle-eight handclaps are soulful (and almost gospel) in nature, before its closing coda goes into Le Tigre anthemic electro-rock, underscored by a swirly guitar line that shimmers before crunching the EP to a close.

Inbetween are two classic slices of off-kilter indie-pop. The first, ‘Since Yesterday’, is a cover of Glasgow duo Strawberry Switchblade’s song of the same name. Where the original was an electronic melange, this is a stripped-back version with the synths replaced by guitar feedback. It’s a reminder of the inherent contrast at the heart of twee indie: beautiful harmonies meeting angular post-punk experimentation. Following the cover is a return to one of Argonaut’s own songs – ‘March!’, taken from Forever. With its swoopy, pleading vocals, crooning guitars and deliriously contrasting male backing vocals, the track could be plucked directly from the Sarah Records back-catalogue.

Released on Analogue Rock – run by one former bassist, Joules – and available exclusively through KeyMailOrder – run by a different former bassist, Paul, The New Argonaut EP is indie through and through. The band’s press release, penned by their own guitarist, even mentions that the band had stormed through the recording session in just six hours: two hours less than originally booked. And, if it’s not the most slick and stately voyage you’ll ever embark on, at least with Argonaut, you’re not going to feel fleeced.

The New Argonaut EP is out 24th August, order it here. Catch Argonaut live at Byline Festival this Sunday, 26th August.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

ALBUM: Argonaut – ‘Forever’

Let me posit an idea: The writer asks themselves the questions required for the process of a good album review. Actors do it, why can’t we? My first (and only, to be honest) question would be: what do you think has been lacking from the overall music scene? Aside from estrogen, queerness, and artists of colour, it’s the space for old-school DIY punk rock spirit that is most sorely vacuous.

London-based band Argonaut have that in spades. The card spades, because Wiki told me that one time when I thought it meant the tools you scoop up sand with at the beach. Influenced by bands that make me weak in the knees – Pixies, Sonic Youth, Le Tigre – Argonaut have absolutely nothing to prove when it comes to the art of do-it-yourself no wave art-anarchy.Their third album, Forever, was recorded live over a couple of days in Bally Studios in Tottenham Hale and hits the punk rock spots I sometimes forget still exist.

I remember hearing Dave Grohl talk about his recording process before the Foo Fighters. He’d record the song all the way through, then he’d have to record that tape on another tape to add the next track and so on, so forth. Always thought that was fucking cool.

Recording tracks live and in one piece is a challenge and fifty more, but in listening to tracks like Argonaut’s ‘Zero Said’, ‘Touch Electric’, and the Breeders-like ‘No Song’, you wouldn’t know it. I mean, just listening to the album (which I have been on loop for the last week, battling against the mainstream white-boy snoozy pop music coming from next door’s Sonos), I could hear Argonaut on a line-up with their influences. Or like in a quick cutscene from the (best) documentary (of all time), 1991: The Year Punk Broke. Like there’d be Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. and Babes in Toyland, and then Argonaut. Yeah, I could see that.

Even cooler is the fact that despite the music landscape these days being so openly accessible to anyone with cash or an internet connection, the band are releasing the record as a limited edition of 100 CD copies. I love the fucking up of a corporate future. The limited release will also be available only from former Argonaut bassist, Paul Saiya’s, independent record store.

If there’s anything better in life than from the belly of the beast punk rock, I don’t even want to know about it. I am awash with the joys of a kid who worshipped Kim Gordon, Deal, and Kathleen Hanna, and because of Argonaut’s Forever, I’m reminded once more that punk will never die. Not so long as there are women around.

Now, how fucking cool is that?

Argonaut’s Forever is out now. Order it here.

Em Burfitt
@fenderqueer