Goat Girl: On All Fours
Peckham based Goat Girl have been patiently lurking within the depths of the shrubs, waiting to pounce at the correct moment to release their enchanting sophomore album, ‘On All Fours’.
Their first album acts a wonderfully gloomy introduction, described by critics as “Wildflowers in Landfill" yet their latest project has allowed the band to adapt from gloom to bloom.
The band consists of cavernous vocals from Clottie Cream (Lottie), joined by guitarist and occasional lead vocalist LED (Ellie), bassist Naima Jelly (Naima) and drummer Rosy Bones (Rosy), their nicknames as though they were pulled from a dark fairy tale.
Interpret the title however you wish but the album is akin to a mystical creature from a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, a creature whom you have stumbled upon in a deep numinous forest. This creature looks to steer you away from the comforting knowing of a path that leads of the forest and instead, enticing you into the depths of the wood.
On our new found quest you are guided by the beautifully dissonant voice of Clottie, leading us with haste, warning us of the difficulties that may come but allowing us to face these fears head on. Assisted by LED, they reach atonement with their slick and stinging guitar strings throughout the album. The magical depths of this forest is a place of spine tingling vocals, whispering with volume.
Whilst some might describe Goat Girl as a post-punk band, it seems lazy to reduce their style to one genre and ‘On All Fours’ has opened chambers of experimentation. The album celebrates the bands successful use of eclecticism, most notably their new found use of silvery synths and electronic utility.
In short, Goat Girl have expertly done what all artists should do throughout their careers - evolve.
The first track, ‘The Pest’, eschews that harsh and abrasive sound fans were so familiar with, and instead introduces us to a more tuneful and celestial score. Although they hold onto their accustomed sense of aggressive lyrics, threatening guitar picks and thudding drums, you can feel a sense of uplift.
It’s comforting to know that Goat Girl never shy away from their original voice, yet throughout each track they constantly tease us with a flirtation of happy-go-lucky sounding songs such as ‘P.T.S.Tea’. Although you might associate these cartoonish synths with a nursery rhyme, the song tells a different story, where a cup of hot tea spills over the protagonist by an arrogant man (based on a true story.)
From hot tea to environmental issues, Goat Girl pulls us back through the sharp and spiky bushes in 'The Crack’, a song that rumbles the hard ground of our forest, echoing the story of a dystopian dimension where humans flee a devastatingly polluted planet.
The group uncovers a range of experimentations in their songs, specifically ‘Sad Cowboy’ which takes us to a new dimension, one of synth and wonder. Yet do not be fooled by the reverberations of the synthesisers that toggle effortlessly between your ears, through this wandering forest you are suddenly taken through to a place that reveals some discomfort in “the same old place to the streets we’re bound.”
Her control of the song and lyricism presents the idea that this comforting memory starts to fade, that looking back may not have been the same as “cold air breaths down the sleeves.” These uncomforting feelings are interpreted with poetic understanding, a running theme throughout the album.
The group guides us through a journey of different feelings and associations such as ‘Anxiety Feels’ which plunges us into the deep end of an honest truth. Lottie opens the song alone with a chant, “I don’t wanna be on those pills” as you feel the words resonate with support from the melancholic harmonies of the backing vocals and the rhythmic beat of the drums.
Goat Girl have proven that they are capable of experimenting with a celestial workspace, and are still qualified to challenge political, societal and environmental issues. We are left with a sweet taste in our mouths, and it is certainly intriguing to see where this group will lead in the future.