Dublin-based Girl Band have been rather quiet since the release of their 2015 debut album, Holding Hands with Jamie, which helped the quartet secure a Band To Watch designation. They’ve been quiet, but busy. Bassist Daniel Fox has been producing songs for other musicians like Paddy Hanna. Guitarist Alan Duggan’s side project the Claque released a single back in March. And today, Girl Band are announcing The Talkies, a new album produced by Fox, and sharing lead single “Shoulderblades” along with a video.
This one is a return to their all-consuming form, and its gnarly, acetic underbelly makes most other “indie” rock feel like child’s play. It’s noisy and pulsating — at times heavy on the psyche as there’s a palpable battle for space occupation. It opens with a vacillating atmosphere, and shrieking guitars seem go in and out of focus around the lyrics. As the drums kick in, lead singer Dara Kiely eerily screams, only adding to the push and pull felt with the lack of melodic consistency.
Featuring dancer Oona Doherty, the song is interpreted into erratic body movements as the frames switch from blue to red, and back again. Here’s the video’s director, Bob Gallagher, with more context on the themes present:
I think it’s a real testament to the creative spirit of the band that they encouraged me to go outside my comfort zone and attempt to make something with no props or set dressing or conventional narrative, and to try and articulate an idea with dance and movement. In Oona we found an incredible co-conspirator, I couldn’t imagine any other dancer being able to bring that combination of beauty and violence to the video. The idea grew out of Dara’s reference to the character of Ed Mordake, a man with two faces, so duality was a major theme. It was interesting for me to see how well dance allows an idea to live in the abstract so it can remain very open. It can mean what it means to the band, and also what it means to Oona and to myself. Hopefully that translates in a way that people watching it can find something in it to relate to, strange as it may be.
Check out the video for “Shoulderblades” below.
02 “Going Norway”
04 “Couch Combover”
06 “Salmon Of Knowledge”
11 “Prefab Castle”
The Talkies is out 9/27 on Rough Trade Records. Pre-order it here.