For a couple of dudes, Girls (songwriter Christopher Owens and producer Chet “JR” White) know how to get into a feminine mindset. “I wonder if he is impressed? Should I have worn the other dress?” Christopher Owens muses in the opening track of the band’s latest EP, the dramatically titled Broken Dreams Club.
Fans of Girls’ debut album,called Album (confusion ends here, I promise), won’t be disappointed. It even has similar cover art: four photos featuring roses and the guys sitting on beds.
The new EP delivers their usual knack for feel-good downers, this time with the welcome addition of…lots of brass? It works because it’s not grandiose (that would destroy the charm in a heartbeat). Instead, the instrumentation comes together to achieve a real 50s doo-wop feeling, especially on the A side. It takes you out to the hop, but that hop is in San Fransisco and you’re wearing Wayfarers indoors with that poodle skirt.
Pedal steel and swaggering trombone on the title track make it golden, but not an oldie. “Heartbreaker,” however, is so predictable that you’ll swear you’ve heard it on multiple family road trips. But hey, I can’t say it’s bad.
Girls record songs for slow dancing in you apartment kitchen, for closing time, and for Urban Outfitters promotional videos (true story).
These songs are sure of themselves, but do nothing if not celebrate being young and aimless.
Owens’ stoner-surfer voice was made for “Substance,” an ode to those illicit materials that “help you rock’n’roll.” But it’s actually a complacent tune about giving up on reality. Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls lends backup vocals.
Sharp breathing and relentless snare give “Alright” the most potential for jostling around at a live show, but it, too, breaks down into an easy sway.
“Carolina,” the last song, takes a while to emerge from it’s foggy beginning, but once Owens sweetly suggests he “carry you home to Carolina and never let you go,” that’s it. You’re smitten.