When Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker harmonize, it's like a lightning bolt to the gut. As Girlpool, the two keep the instrumentation spare — just an electric guitar and bass — while infusing their songs with a striking confidence that knows we're all failures, or at least trying not to fail so often. So in "Chinatown" when they sing, "And if I told you I loved you, would you take it the wrong way?" it's raw and vulnerable, taking stock of a painfully awkward situation with open eyes.
After a self-titled cassette (recently reissued on vinyl) and a move from L.A. to Philadelphia, Girlpool is putting "Chinatown" on a forthcoming 7". Even in such a short period of time, there's growth here in the vocal phrasing and pacing, not to mention production that rounds out the trebly tinniness. Thankfully, the cheap guitar twang remains; it's an intimate quality shared in this video, which edits down homemade videos with friends and fellow musicians. It's a reminder that in our uncertainty — "I am nervous for tomorrow and today," they sing — friends are our empathetic allies.
"Chinatown" comes out March 24 on Wichita Recordings, featuring a cover of Radiator Hospital's "Cut Your Bangs" on the B-side. Homepage photo by Alice Baxley.
"Chinatown" is featured in Songs We Love.