Despite their relative youth, impressively Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker are already onto their third record. And like any creative duo worth discussing their shared artistic endeavour relies upon a symbiotic understanding of one another. Alongside establishing an admirable work ethic and creative output together, Girlpool have shown not only a growth and maturation in their sound, but also in their relationship.
The appeal of their previous work situates in their interweaving vocals, set atop understated lo-fi instrumentation, occasionally bolstered by jagged alt-guitar tones, all taken in combination to create an appealing blend of stripped-down shoegaze. The follow up to their debut release showcased their evolution from bedroom project to a fully formed band. And on ‘What Chaos Is Imaginary’, yet more development as their previously semi-embellished sound becomes increasingly adorned with complex additions and arrangements.
Unfortunately, while there is a scattering of charming moments, it ultimately feels as though the unassuming allure of previous releases has been marginalised by the increasingly reinforced and methodical sound. The connection between Tividad and Tucker feels strained, with altered vocal approaches struggling to connect, and incoherent musical ideas creating a skittish ambience. Perhaps a result of their independence from one another during the song writing process, or just a result of emotional circumstance. What’s clear is that the overwhelming appeal of Girlpool exists in the intense and unique connection between the twosome and that their inimitable charm should be paramount against increasingly flashy and gratuitous musicianship.