Group At Work: Girls
On paper, you might think that Christopher Owens has the makings of the perfect rock and roll provocateur. The San Francisco-based songwriter, who is one-half of the dreamy, lo-fi rock outfit Girls—along with Chet “JR” White—spent his childhood immersed in the Children of God cult and part of his teen years in the eccentric world of Texan artist and prankster Stanley Marsh 3 of Cadillac Ranch fame before landing a gig in the band Holy Shit.
But this soft-spoken modern troubadour with a lopsided dirty-blond mop and a childlike innocence is more of a creative free spirit than a debauched rabble-rouser. “It’s a sensational story,” explains Owens via phone from his home adjacent to Golden Gate Park. “I hope that over time, we can show that this isn’t the most important part of the story.”
On their stunning—and decidedly less lo-fi—sophomore offering Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Owens and White transitioned from the rudimentary bedroom recordings of their debut to a much larger scale sonic project.
“It’s what we would have done with the first album if we had the means to do it,” Owen says about the kicked-up studio experience. “From the people playing on it to the equipment we used—it was all ideal.”
The resulting 11 tracks resonate with the sugar-spun naïveté of early ‘60s balladry, the ethereal haze of West Coast eccentric folk and a lovelorn wordsmithery reminiscent of early Elvis Costello. Pulling inspiration from personal experiences, they write lyrics that are like the musical equivalent of Polaroid snapshots, chronicling the many permutations of love, loss and self-exploration through the lens of a modern romantic.
So, is Owens surprised by his recent rise to fame? “When I started to make my first album, I didn’t even think that anybody would listen to it,” he confesses. “But when I look at it, all of the ingredients were there, so it makes total sense. You just don’t ever expect success.”
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
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Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
Ron Sexsmith visits the Relix office to perform a tune from his latest record Forever Endeavor.
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