Chicago upstarts Horsegirl have released a brand new single, the scuzzy and shoegazey ‘Billy’.
“There was a period of last year where the three of us spent everyday together writing and recording,” the band explain in a press release. “It was during this time, when we practically lived in Penelope’s basement, that ‘Billy’ was written.”
“Penelope had recently read about Nick Drake‘s alternate tunings prompting her to detune her guitar, while Nora overlaid a rhythmic vocal line detailing the life of a fictional character, Billy. At the time, we had been listening to a lot of New Zealand underground bands (1980s/’90s Flying Nun). With that scrappiness in mind, we worked the rest of the song out through improvising together, and ‘Billy’ quickly fell into place.”
Starting with a fuzz-filled backing track, ‘Billy’ mixes in layers of guitars and contrasting vocal lines, some melodic and some close to spoken word in their drollness. As the song continues to barrel towards its conclusion, the band ramp up the intensity, getting faster and faster until they practically explode into a distortion-filled finale. For a three-minute noise-rock anthem, ‘Billy’ has a surprising amount of dynamics and fluidity to it.
Horsegirl is a band attempting to balance a musical career with real-life responsibilities: the members are all currently teenagers, with two members in college and one at the end of high school. That means there might be some conflicting priorities, but my unsolicited advice is to go for the rock band dream. ‘Billy’ proves that Horsegirl are a band worth reckoning with, as there’s never enough guitar bands to go around.
Check out the video for ‘Billy’ down below.