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Music

Girlpool come full circle on new album 'Forgiveness'

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Los Angeles duo Girlpool have returned with their long-awaited fourth studio album, Forgiveness. The new record sees the band refine their more outwardly DIY style, and embrace the emo-tronica that is seemingly ubiquitous in the music industry at the moment.

Enlisting Yves Tumor producer Yves Rothman, together they’ve managed to create a heady, futurist sound that will have long-term fans of the band begging for more as the final track ‘Love333’ fades out. Imagine that Lil Peep, The 1975, Yves Tumor and Pale Waves were blended into one, and you’d have the new Girlpool. 

On the back of Forgiveness, you can tell that Girlpool are about to take their career – and new demographics of listeners – to an entirely new level. The album has the potential to be a crossover hit and appeals to exactly what listeners are looking for at this moment in time. It’s sexy, fluid and surprising, everything you want from an album in 2022.

Musically, it’s dynamic and modern, coupled with the kind of honest emotional introspection that the band do so well. Ballasted by Rothman’s incredibly slick production, Girlpool have fully realised themselves, and the masses will undoubtedly love it. Expect to see them on film and TV soundtracks in the not too distant future, and the swooning instrumentation of ‘Nothing Gives Me Pleasure’ offers the prime example.

It is clear that the duo, comprised of Harmony Tividad and Avery Tucker, have evolved artistically and personally, as the sound of Forgiveness is a stark departure from the band’s 2015 debut, Before the World Was Big. The new album is immersive and thrusts the listener into a cerebral space that is one part Black Mirror and another Riverdale. In many ways, this is the sound of the future, and I have no doubt that in years to come, Yves Rothman will be hailed in a similar way to producer extraordinaires such as Brian Eno and Steve Albini. 

Forgiveness is ethereal, idiosyncratic and authentic, and I cannot wait to see what direction the band will go in from here. There are many stellar moments on the album, from ‘Violet’ to ‘Dragging My Into A Dream’, to ‘See Me Now’, and each piece comes complete with its own earworm, courtesy of voice, guitar or synths, reflecting the creative dexterity of Harmony and Avery. 

If one line were to sum up the overarching sentiment, it would be the line in ‘Violet’, in which Avery sings: “LA’s trash but filled with diamond candy, running with you ‘cos you’re so sticky sweet and pretty.” It’s grunge repackaged for the contemporary audience and plays on all the excess and sexual intrigue of the duo’s native city.

“A lot of my songs on this record are about relationship dynamics where I experienced frustration and pain, and struggling to hold a lot of complexity in my emotions” Avery explained in a press statement. “Writing Forgiveness helped me fit all those pieces into an acceptance: that my fate pushes me exactly where I need to go.” 

Harmony echoed this sentiment, adding: “A lot of life feels like unavoidable experiences to me,” she adds. “To me, Forgiveness is about accepting that concept. It’s about forgiving reality for having to be exactly what it is all the time.”

Whilst Forgiveness is certainly guilty of being rather depressing on the surface, this is precisely the point. Avery and Harmony are confronting everything that they’ve experienced in the recent past and are finding meaning in it by picking it apart, and much like with many real human experiences, a lot of this has been challenging, so the record is imbued with this tangible sense of humanity. Forgiveness is Girlpool saying: “This is us now” and it’s a message they convey loud and clear.

You can’t help but think that their seven-year career has been running up to this exact moment and that they’ve finally reached the mouth of the river and are about to enter the ocean. The future looks incredibly bright. 

Girlpool - 'Forgiveness'
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