In addition to my usual music scraping through the Aussie underground, I’ve found the UK indies have been doing their fair share to offer up some quality releases this year. High on that list is the debut LP from Our Girl. The Brighton trio has a mastery over calm menace and a knack for noisy hooks. They’re straddling a tenuous line between the shrouded shine of shoegaze and the boiled bones of grunge. From the latter they don’t cherry pick the usual touchstones – the gutterfuzz rumble, the scorched howl of angst – instead they pipe in the parched and prickly deliveries of PJ Harvey, The Breeders and by natural extension The Amps. Where those artists found a way to bite for blood with catchy results, Our Girl follows suit, but they wrap their songs in the mists of Chapterhouse, Slowdive and The Lilys.
The band succeeds in divining the crumbling beauty that shoegaze was striving for by tipping the ship out of the muck just enough to catch the moonlight. The band doesn’t dwell too long on slapping the listener with hooks. They float them to the surface and then let them ripple in the haze that they’ve created before embracing the steamroller guitar workouts that made the genre a household name. Singer Soph Nathan (also of Big Moon) has a love for alienation tinged with hope and her trepidation melts into the wells of noise with an introverted glee – feeling free to revel in the comfort corners of haze and heat and light. Its a stunner of a debut that’s outpacing plenty of others chasing either side of the genre coin they flip. Feels like this might just be the beginning as well, that looking back Stranger Today might just wind up the match that lights the wildfire they set in motion.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.