Laid Bare: A Listen To On All Fours by Goat Girl
Updated: Jan 25
Back in the late 90s, paradox All Saints were blessed with a mesmerising aura that we all fell for, their genre's shimmered image blurred around the edges. South London foursome Goat Girl, it can be said, is a contemporary Post-Punk version of that very same concept as they bring us LP On All Fours produced by Dan Carey. Fate drew these girls together in 2015 where mutual respect developed from a sea of hopefulness: the open mic night. Lyricism attracted the ears of Rough Trade, and their self-titled debut emerged.
In this second studio album, their youthful antagonistic tendencies have made way for humanitarian and wellbeing thoughts, still with ferocity, but through a considered view of life: understanding the wonder, yet acknowledging the flaws. Another way they stoked the innovative fires to keep their art blazing is instrument exchanges within the group. Allowing flow without pressure, the starting line of home demos, phone recordings and jams transformed into the finished piece that needs revealing behind the velvet luxury of a red curtain.
The silk thread weaving through the piece is that the songs often present segments dovetailed with altered arrangements which change the energy and direction. Showcased in single The Crack, where the verse hits a rocking beat of the indie disco that sets the environmental scene of the damage humans cause to our planet, and the chorus responds in a voluptuous Nashville manner: "Cracks forming, the Earth's stronger on our back."
Similarly, opener Pest grows- filled with radiant harmonies and dexterous vocal rhythms to synths that fly us to the sun of California. However, the words oppose the sonics and speak of otherworldly myths that control our being, draining hope. And we shall stay in the West for those top-notch harmonies that feature in Badibabba, calling out our ignorance of the fragile planet: "Shove it somewhere we won't see." The force behind the four women storms towards you in the psychedelic instrumental of the last minute, present in Once Again also, with its impressive drums and varying tempo, as a rippling neon coloured outro takes the stage.
Like the G Girl's often do, Sad Cowboy invites you into the intimate place of their headspace -"Take my hand, let me show you 'round", as it mixes styles with expertise: the unpolished guitar, electro synths and funky drums add to the up-tempo tuneful observation. Closing In holds that funk telling of acceptance of depression and Anxiety Feels chills things out in a laid back N.E.R.D. mode reminding us to be kind to our body and mind. Same vibe retained, Bang works melodic bass and guitars to consider our ego's constant voice.
This record is truthful, yet the music is never bleak and alive with pigment. However there is a provoking cacophony and uncomfortableness concluding Jazz (in the Supermarket) that does not let you turn away. Exotic brass and distortion close the show in A-men. With a hippy quality through delicate bell use, it discusses comfort zones, and how we can often get caught up in familiarity: "I never thought it would stay."
As noticed before, a plus that the quartet does cleverly is deal with their innermost ideas, but have the courage not to precisely match the sound, exhibited in 60s sunflower P.T.S. Tea, which is accompanied by handclaps and dancing in a yellow drenched field. However, the words discuss a painful scold without any sign of an apology from the cause.
Although there is vulnerability, there is a power, a power to speak out; They Bite On You openly illustrates literal and metaphoric parasites, while Where Do We Go From Here? detours as its power arises from its abandonment of seriousness. Goat Girl has unlocked their wisdom in their collection of thirteen songs that are thoughtful and crafted with the upmost of care. You are at the receiving end of complete honesty in every swirl, twirl and twist.
Article by Beverley Knight