[Photo credit to Molly Matalon]
The heart of Girlpool is the friendship between Cleo Tucker (vocalist and guitarist) and Harmony Trividad (vocalist and bassist), and despite constant personal evolution, it’s their voices and vulnerability that give the group’s music its strength. The duo first started making music together in Los Angeles after meeting through mutual friends in 2013. The duo has gone on to release a self-titled EP, a debut full-length LP, Before the World Was Big, and most recently, their new sophomore album, Powerplant. Girlpool’s early releases were often expressions of their struggles, with urgent songs such as “Slutmouth” and “Blah Blah Blah” voicing feminist frustrations. Before the World Was Big revealed both a more tender side to the duo, featuring more personal storytelling, nostalgia, and resilient emotional tension threading through the album.
On Powerplant, Girlpool moves away from their two-piece format, sometimes adding drums and piano to their sound. While the drums and loom and the cheery piano adds a major note, Girlpool lives in tension, looking in. Tracks such as “Fast Dust” show off the new elements to the band, while singles “Powerplant” and “It Gets More Blue” deliver cryptic messages that contrast the simpler storytelling on their debut album. Girlpool wrestles with growing up from a passive position, taking in everything around them, and delivering a quiet, impassioned sprawl of gloomy tunes.
Proud three-piece Snail Mail is the outlet of Lindsey Jordan, a 17-year-old student by day, and a shredder by night. Pouring her soul into her riffs, Jordan’s honest lyrics on “Thinning” and almost emo-style guitar on “Habit” give us a way to share the growing pains she experiences growing up in Maryland. On her debut EP, Habit, through relatable, intelligently ordinary lyrics, Jordan revives teenage angst and vulnerability while confidently jamming away.
Catch Girlpool and Snail Mail at Neumos on Friday, May 26, 2017. The show is at 8:00 p.m., and it’s all ages. You can buy tickets here.
MARIA KING | Sleepless Soup | KXSU Music Reporter