Girlpool are an intriguing band, the duo of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Trividad are two tough cookies. Forever fighting the good fight they’ve managed to stick around the scene without compromising their values or beliefs and it’s a steely reserve which permeates throughout their artistic output. An intoxicating mix of acceptance and defiance, their latest record What Chaos Is Imaginary is another record for the band to be proud of.
Although the similar themes of emotional fragility and equally the strengthening love of chosen friends and family are still permanent features of Girlpool this record sees the band become more open than ever. Songs offer up slices of social commentary as part of the artist’s perception of it. That is to say, this isn’t a band trying to make the world a better place, more like a band trying to be better people for the society they’re in.
What that means is that songs like ‘Where You Sink’ and ‘Lucky Joke’ offer an autopsy style look into the lives of Cleo and Harmony. They’re lives which have experienced some radical changes of late, apart from working independently for the first time in their careers, Cleo also underwent a gender transition which has seen the make-up of the band change.
Not only just the vocal tone of Cleo’s singing parts, which previously melted together with Harmony’s like butter and cream, which are now deeper and assured. But also that their independence when working has created artistic liminal space for the two to open themselves up even further.
That change, among others, transpires as a stunning third record from the band which marks a year or two of big changes, transitional moments, emotional fragility, and strengthening friendships. It’s a record as honest and open as you’re likely to ever hear. It’s one of the best of the year so far.
Girlpool’s What Chaos Is Imaginary out today on ANTI- Records