Golden Grrrls Golden Grrrls(Slumberland) Buy it from Insound
Just a few days ago I was lamenting the unpopularity of twee, one of my favorite musical genres that seemed to rise and fall in the span of a scant few 80s and 90s years. I don't think it has mass appeal, and I understand why; it's often tone deaf, has very low production values as a matter of course, and is undeniably precious in a way that likely annoys more often that it charms. But I for one miss Sarah records, and I miss The Magnetic Fields' 100,000 Fireflies, and I miss that warm "it's just my friends dicking around in the living room" feeling that twee always washed over me.
It seems a perfect time for a tiny resurgence. Golden Grrrls has stepped in with a jangly, out of key debut that I find absolutely delightful. The Glaswegian bedroom trio has a dreamy sound, a sort of whispery, underwater fuzziness that epitomizes twee and indie-pop. It's something a bit unusual in the recent sea of production-heavy electro, but not unwelcome. The record suffers from a lack of stand-outs, instead staying on an even keel throughout, one song blending into the next. Not to defend the lack of ingenuity or variety, but it does give the album a lilting quality that feels true to the genre.
The best tracks feature the most layered vocals. Paul Simon features not so much harmonies as a triple vocal overlay that somehow "goes," wrapping around a surprisingly strong lead guitar hook, considering the relatively inexperienced instrumentation. Wrld Peace's breathy backup is pure sweetness, and more than makes up for any technical deficiencies. Past Tense has some really lovely, almost nervous harmonies from the group's female members (drummer Eilidh Rodgers and guitarist Rachel Aggs), while guitarist Ruari Maclean gives a gentle but solid tenor undertone.
Amateur really is the name of the game when it comes to traditional indie-pop, so fair warning for those put off by lack of craftsmanship. There's nothing truly new or exciting here, and any one of the songs could be plopped down seamlessly into the repertoire of Tiger Trap, Talula Gosh, or Bunnygrunt. But Golden Grrls have put out a happy, smiley little record that doesn't overstay its welcome. Just because it's unlikely to spawn the next Nirvana (remember their cover of The Vaseline's epitome-of-twee Jesus Don't Want Me for a Sunbeam?), doesn't mean it's not worth it for exactly what it is: a fun pop record that you'll smile about now and forget soon enough.27 March, 2013 - 04:12 — Gabbie Nirenburg