"I’ve also started recording a family Country and Westerns covers album for a laugh" We chat with Girlhood
Hot on the heels of their debut album, one half of Girlhood (that'd be Christian) talks to us about how the duo met, their new album, and looking after a newborn while recording more music.
Hey Christian, how’s your day going?
Off to a good start, thanks. The dog and cat found and ate our breakfast, shat it out all over the kitchen and then our three month old began teething. Suffice to say, I had to have some Baileys in my coffee this morning.
Where are you right now? And what were you up to before you sat down to answer these questions?
I am sat in Girlhood’s new home studio, which I just finished kitting out. Before that, I was researching foam ball pool pits for Christmas gifts. I’ve also begun recording a family Country and Westerns cover album for a laugh, at least when it all quietens down enough to record anything at all!
Tell me the one thing people don’t know about you.
I was an addict for ten years. A year sober now.
I’ve read the story about how you guys met, what were you both actually supposed to be doing that day?
I would have been writing after work, as it was a weekday. I used to come back from doing movie posters to trying to create some sort of music project that wasn’t quite realised yet, until Tess randomly showed up that night.
Your debut album came out recently, what can you tell me about it?
It was the hardest thing to finish - just to accept that’s it and to pass it out into the world. It took three years or so of reworking song after song, God knows how many discarded songs, guitar takes, arguments, tears, laughs and love. I’m still not sure it’s finished (or that I can accept it) but I’m taking that with me onto the next one...
What was the most fun thing that happened through the recording process?
Playing some new songs live was always interesting to see how that gauged a reaction. We used to drop a few tunes that we were still working on to see if they were right in the mix alongside the other released songs. We had really great responses from 'Sister', but it took a while to get the final song to a position where it was strong enough to stand alongside the rest of the record.
Which song surprised you the most in how it turned out?
'Queendom'. It started off as some oddball rap hybrid that was kind of a joke. We ended up removing all the instrumentation apart from the bare bones, I then left it with Tess and she turned it into this gorgeous, powerful, self-supporting lullaby.
One of my favourite songs is ‘Sister’, what’s the story to that song?
It started out with wanting to make a tune around an old school House beat, but it began quite a nice little pop song. The lyrics are so sweet and simple from Tess, it makes a refreshing break from the more complex topics buried within the record.
I’m also a big fan of ‘Bad Decisions’. What can you tell me about it?
It was one of the first songs we wrote. It sort of stapled the sound we wanted to carry out across the album, and we used it to reference a lot of newer songs to make sure they fitted that ethos.
And you’ve left the best track to the end, ‘The Love I Need’ is great, what can you tell me about the writing of that song?
This was the last song we wrote for the record, actually. We were sitting on a rough demo for a year or so, but we couldn’t quite find it’s resolution. We decided to return to it later on, and just changed the beat, threw in some huge Gospel choir stylings and Mellotron strings and that seemed to do the trick. It’s probably one of the weirder songs, musically wise, on the record. Basing it on a standard Bluegrass ditty and warping it into a different groove was a challenge to say the least.
And what’s the one song on the album that you haven’t been asked about much?
No one really asks us much about 'Keep On'. That’s probably the most simple pop song on the record, basically about us being at our wits end with disappointment over disappointment with labels, producers and writing, but knew we had to keep going to make it all worthwhile.
I usually ask, what have you got planned for 2021, assuming things become slightly more normal!
More music. Lockdown has been really beneficial for demoing, and it meant we had some time to build a proper studio so we don’t need to rely on external studios and producers as much.
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
Milton Nascimento - 'Ponta De Areia'. I think it’s one of the most joyous songs ever written.
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
1/4 Baileys, no sugar or milk, strong.
To find out more about Girlhood you can check out their official website, you can buy their debut album on Bandcamp, and you can check out what the guys are up to on their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.