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On Deck: Girls Names

By ; April 22, 2013 at 4:05 PM 

Girls Names

Displaying their own distinct slant on Slumberland Records’ well-established dream and jangle pop aesthetic, Girls Names are sitting quite comfortably alongside a host of like-minded artists who find the pop intricacies of ringing melodies and shimmering guitars irresistible. On their sophomore album The New Life, the band combines the delicate harmonies and gossamer sheen of Cathal Cully’s vocals with the chiming rhythms and hook-laden melodies of guitarist Philip Quinn, and surprisingly intense rhythm section of bassist Claire Miskimmin and drummer Neil Brogan. Recently, the band took time from their busy schedule to talk with Beats Per Minute about some of their favorite records. Picking three (really four) releases that helped to influence their own musical direction, the band’s love for all things David Bowie, The Birthday Party, and Echo and the Bunnymen is plain to see. Read what they had to say about these particular records below in the latest installment of our On Deck series.


David Bowie - Low
David Bowie – Low

The studio experimentation is so inspiring and the fact that not one ‘song’ really has a so called standard structure make it even more alluring – the fact a pop star could get away with releasing it on a major label is even more baffling. It’s one of those rare records that you can emote on everything level and one that can stir up both comfort and even greater discomfort from within. It’s such a fraught and bi-polar record but that first side has a real r’n’b groove to it. When Bowie asked producer Tony Visconti what he could bring to the sessions for Low, he said he had acquired the fairly new Eventide Harmoniser that “fucks with the fabric of time.” I’ve no doubt that he, Bowie and Eno genuinely did want to fuck with the fabric of time with this album – that’s what makes it so great.


Echo and the Bunnymen - Heaven Up Here
Echo and the Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here

One seriously overlooked album. What appeals to me most about this album is not the songs (although, to me, all great) but the sounds created. The space captured on this album is unbelievable. Ask anyone, that’s a seriously hard thing to do. Even when there’s loads going on and a lot of overdubs in the mix, the sense of space and atmosphere is so palpable. It’s the use of the mixes and heavy panning on Bunnymen records that really make them so special. The guitar playing and instrumentation can be so understated at times but rightly on the money. Knowing restraint and when to hold back is a huge skill. I also think it’s worth noting that Peter De Freitas’ drumming could possibly be some of the best ever captured on this record. And Ian McCulloch had some set of lungs on him too.


The Birthday Party
The Birthday Party – Mutiny/The Bad Seed EPs

“Hands up who wants to die!” I don’t think that’s a question posed by Nick Cave. I’m not a nihilist nor do I subscribe to any kind of nihilistic doctrine nor do I think it’s clever to do so but I do think these last two Birthday Party recordings are the real deal. If ever the end of the world was to be sound tracked this would be it. It’s obvious the band were on the rails by this point, everything is imploding from within and spluttered out through their instruments and Cave’s harrowing shriek. It’s effortlessly produced – it’s almost as if they could just switch on their amps and start playing and this is the sound that automatically came out. That’s why it’s so special. Where could a group of people have gone after this but to no where. From Her To Eternity that Cave next released with the Bad Seeds just about made something even more darker, sinister and challengingly beautiful. It’s the sound of purgatory if it existed.

Girls Names’ latest record The New Life is out now on Slumberland Records.


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