ALBUM: Goat Girl – ‘On All Fours’

With a renewed approach to structuring their songs and a fresh desire to improvise and enjoy the music they’re making, Goat Girl have channelled their joys and frustrations via electronics and FX pedals on their second album On All Fours. Released via Rough Trade Records, this new offering retains the band’s trademark cynical charm, whilst offering listeners a route to escapism through jazz-infused beats and soft vocal melodies.

Guitarist & vocalist Lottie Pendlebury’s calm delivery of mantra-like lyric “I have no shame when I say / step the fuck away” on opener ‘Pest’ epitomises the defiant, dancing tone of On All Fours. Inspired by the colonialist undertones of 2018’s tabloid newspapers who dubbed a storm that hit the UK as the “beast from the east,” the track laments western society’s dangerous habit of “othering” any issues it falsely believes it’s not responsible for – making it the “pest from the west” that Pendlebury sings of.

As with their 2018 self-titled debut album, Goat Girl’s left-wing sensibilities are at the forefront of their song-writing, but they’ve made space for carefree tunes on their new record too. The playfully named ‘Badibaba’ bubbles with jazzy electronics and eccentric time signatures, while ‘Jazz (In The Supermarket)’ showcases how the band’s jamming sessions have blossomed into organised, erratic sounds. The infectiously upbeat ‘Once Again’ and the swaggering rhythms on ‘Sad Cowboy’ and ‘The Crack’ punctuate the album with a light-hearted, but tenacious attitude.

While ‘P.T.S.Tea’ is a fun play on words, it’s underscored by drummer Rosy Jones’ distressing memory of being on tour in 2019. Jones was badly scalded after a random man on a ferry spilled tea on their arm, leaving Jones unable to complete the rest of the band’s dates. The man never apologised, so ‘P.T.S.Tea’ is an aural scald on male accountability and privilege, as well as an exploration of Jones’ own gender identity, reflected in the lyric “to say what I am / well I don’t have a clue.” Jones’ gaze was also fixed on the reversal of gender normative roles when they penned closing track ‘A-Men’ too.

The swirling sounds on ‘Closing In’ are a vibrant personification of Pendlebury’s own struggles with depression, while following track ‘Anxiety Feels’ gives a gentle insight into bassist Ellie Davies’ crippling panic attacks. Her lyrical musings on medication and dealing with negative thought patterns are delivered with tender sincerity. Both songs explore gruelling subjects with genuine charm and care.

The parasitic ‘They Bite On You’ bleeds into the explosively named ‘Bang’, on which Pendlebury extrapolates on the nature of her ego. The woozy sounds of ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ were born from a weekend retreat where the band spent their time writing, drinking and mocking the intensity of such an ambiguous question. Sweet self-deprecating moments like this galvanized the sound of On All Fours. Goat Girl’s ability to make their second album feel like a light listen despite the contexts of their songs being rooted in difficulty, is a refreshing and admirable quality for band releasing new music in an already tumultuous new year.

Listen to Goat Girls’ new album On All Fours here.

Follow Goat Girl on bandcamp, Spotify, Facebook & Instagram

If you like the sound of Goat Girl’s new album, you can read more about what inspired them to make it in my interview with them for The Line Of Best Fit.

Photo Credit: Holly Whitaker

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: January 2020

We’re two weeks in to 2020, and whether you’re keeping up with ‘Dry January’, venturing into ‘Veganuary’ or simply demolishing the leftover Christmas snacks; we’ve put together a list of brand new music to help with all of the above. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Shopping – ‘Initiative’
Referencing governments who shirk responsibilities whilst placing blame on individuals; international trio Shopping’s new single ‘Initiative’ oozes a racing sense of urgency and gritty energy, whilst funk-fuelled beats and jangly, whirring hooks flow. Taken from the band’s upcoming new album, it’s a vibrant anthem encouraging us to stay motivated and keep going against the grain. All Or Nothing, the new album from Shopping, is out 7th February via FatCat Records. (Mari Lane)

Dream Nails – ‘Text Me Back (Chirpse Degree Burns)’
With their distinctive, raucous punk-pop energy; our favourite London Punk Witches Dream Nails address the anxious hell-scape that is 21st century dating on ‘Text Me Back’, and the excruciating pain of being left on “read”. With stomping beats, pounding bass-lines and immense riffs accompanying the fun-filled lyrics, it’s an instant smile-inducing anthem. Of the track, Janey from the band explains: “For those born beyond the M25, “chirpse” is London slang for flirting, and “chirpse degree burns” is our personal slang for the injuries borne from romantic misadventure. The song is a tribute to the gut-wrenching feeling of checking your phone every 5 minutes to see if your crush has replied.” ‘Text Me Back’ is taken from Dream Nails’ eponymous debut album, out 3rd April via Alcopop Records. (ML)

Party Fears – ‘Money’
I’m thrilled to announce I am now a contributor to The Irish Jam for their #NewMusicSunday slot, which airs on Riverside Radio on Sunday evenings 7-9pm. They focus on new music from Irish artists, so I played Party Fears’ latest single ‘Money’, as they’re formed of Northern Irish native Maggie Devlin, and Aussie Eilish Frawley. Their single ‘Money’ is a reflection on power, and how it isn’t always used for the greater good. It’s raw, it’s shouty, and it’s catchy as hell. (Kate Crudgington)

draag – ‘Ghost Leak’
A hazy ode to feeling inconsequential; L.A, shoegaze outfit draag have crafted a strung out, dreamy soundscape on their latest single ‘Ghost Leak’. The track is lifted from their upcoming EP Clara Luz, which is set for release on 21st February. (KC)

Post Louis – ‘Descender’
The new single from London art-rockers Post Louis, ‘Descender’ juxtaposes a dreamy, swirling musicality with soaring impassioned vocals. Oozing a heartfelt raw emotion, it’s a truly captivating slice of stirring alt-folk. Descender, the debut album from Post Louis, is out 28th February. (ML)

Xylo Aria – ‘Ignorance’
‘Ignorance’ is the eponymous track from London-based producer Xylo Aria’s latest EP; a collection of songs informed by the current environmental crisis, mental health issues, and the societal pressure she feels to conform. Aria also runs Music Production For Women, which is a fantastic initiative encouraging women to get involved in the production of their own music. Listen to the Ignorance EP in full here. (KC)

Madeleine Smyth – ‘Palmers Green’
Released by independent record label Scratched, London-based artist Madeleine Smyth’s recent EP Covert is a beguiling blend of soft vocals, ambient sounds, orchestral elements, and trip-hop inspired beats. ‘Palmers Green’ is one of four tracks showcasing Smyth’s ability to blend all of these influences seamlessly. (KC)

Aisha Badru – ‘Soil’s Daughter’
The new single from New York artist Aisha Badru, ‘Soil’s Daughter’ reflects on the need to protect our environment. Radiating a sparkling majesty and subtle, soulful power, it’s a truly beautiful ballad; a moving and sincere offering at a time when our world is literally burning, and things feel like they’re falling apart. Of the track, Badru expands: “This is me reflecting on the world, and this huge disconnect between us as a people, and us with the planet.” Transcendence, the upcoming EP from Aisha Badru, is out 7th February via Nettwerk. (ML)

Drea & The Marilyns – ‘Everything to Me’ (Lips Cover)
Loving this cover of Lips’ ‘Everything to Me’ by Drea & The Marilyns! I mean, I loved the original but I’m really enjoying this remake from the Seattle-based artist. Mix anything up with some electro-synths, and I’m yours. (Tash Walker)

Captain Handsome – ‘Halloween’
The second single taken from Lily from Fightmilk’s solo project Captain Handsome, the rather unseasonably entitled ‘Halloween’ flows with silky-smooth vocals and a twinkling, stripped-back musicality. With its delicate lo-fi scuzz and tongue-in-cheek relatable lyricism – “It was Halloween, I was 24, I had a bad time on the bathroom floor” – it’s a sensitive, yet not sentimental effervescent slice of indie-pop. I Am Not An Animal, the debut EP from Captain Handsome, is out 31st January via Reckless Yes. You can catch them live for us at The Finsbury on 14th February, along with Piney Gir, Grawl!x and I Am Her. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’ 
I’ve been following Bristol-based songwriter Fenne Lily for a while now, and was lucky enough to have a chat with her for a recent feature on The Line Of Best Fit. This is the title track from her 2018 debut album, and I melt a little bit each time I hear it. She’s playing a (sold out) show at The Lexington on 16th Jan, and I’m looking forward to hearing some of the new material that will make up her second album, which is set for release later this year. (KC)

Ethereal UK – ‘Strange World Normal Girl’
This track literally landed in my inbox just before the winter break and I immediately added it to the playlist for the radio show. Just beautiful. (TW)

Asha Gold – ‘Too Good’
Asha Gold who champions self-confidence in R&B influenced electro-pop. Released at the end of last year, ‘Too Good’ is the West London artist’s current single, and it flows with catchy melodies, beats and an infectious chorus. Keep it up Asha. (TW)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Boys Toys’
I’ve always been a fan of Mavi Phoenix, and had the opportunity to interview them a couple of years back now. I remember how they spoke so eloquently about equality and the importance of queer music in the world. Phoenix has found a home in their new sound and also in the pronoun “he”. This is all about Phoenix being reborn, which is what happens in the accompanying music video to this track ‘Boys Toys’, directed by Elizaveta Porodina, ‘Boys Toys’ is as important as an exploration for Mavi Phoenix’s gender identity, as it is for his artistic work. And on top of all that, it’s an absolute tune. Enjoy. Watch the video for ‘Boys Toys’ here. (TW)

tAngerinecAt – ‘I don’t want to be a white master’
tAngerinecAt are a non-binary duo originally from Ukraine, and now based in London. What an amazing track – the vocals, the heavy electronic based instrumentation, pedals, their self-defined “hurdy-gurdy” loops and those beats! I am so happy I know about this band, and I cannot wait to indoctrinate myself further into their sound. (TW)

Last Eden – ‘Fallen’
If you’re into 8 minute long pieces of obscure electronic drone music (why wouldn’t you be?), then multidisciplinary Irish artist Aileen Wallace – aka Last Eden – is worth a listen. She experiments and improvises with elements of industrial and ambient music to create unusual, captivating soundscapes. Working as both a producer and a sound artist, Wallace uses bespoke DIY microphones, cassette recorders, synthesizers, and an array of equipment from both the analog and digital worlds. Her recent EP Elysian Plain explores the mythology and the journey surrounding death. It’s intense, but definitely intriguing. Listen to the record here. (KC)