Album Review: veryhandsomebilly – I Know Girls

The new EP sees the swaggering New Zealand based artist continue to develop his engrossing, funk-laden style

With his vibrant and fun funky sound, 70s bravado, and charismatic appeal and distinctive charm that shines through everything that he does, New Zealand multi-instrumental and producer veryhandsomebilly is an artist whose sound is a tight and fashionable as his pants, oozing a unique, nostalgic appeal that feels as varied and exciting as it is uproariously fun. The artist’s new sophomore EP I Know Girls is exactly as swaggering and cocksure its title suggests, and is one that continues to build upon the legend of a unique figure in modern music.

The EP opens with ‘Flip Phone’, a slick and engrossing single that immediately establishes the aesthetic of the artist and his sound for those who are unaware. Everything here from the sultry riffs, to the artist’s soaring and all-conquering spirit, to lyrics about flip phones, grapefruit vape juice and that summarise the artist’s off-kilter and distinctive appeal.

The artist’s funky tendencies get ramped all the way up on the shimmering ‘E-Girl’, a track with an enchanting bassline and gorgeously textured soundscape that almost distracts you from a troubling narrative about stalking and harassment. This is a testament to the talent and charm of veryhandsomebilly and his sound, able to mask even the murkiest of narratives beneath the effortlessly charming and powerful nature of his sound, while also showcasing a multi-faceted depth and nuance to his sound that feels captivating in its juxtaposition.

The artist’s stellar vocals take centre stage on ‘Pay The Wolf’, a track that again has a lush 70s glow to it, impossibly catchy and infectious while highlighting his unique creative vision and the scope and depth of his musical prowess. The deeper that you delve into the artist’s sound the more that his incredible talent becomes apparent, veryhandsomebilly handles every aspect of his music including instrumental
work, vocals, songwriting, mixing, and production, and this makes for a style that feels entirely his own, maintaining his funk-laden feel while every track has its own sense of character and unique appeal.

The artist embodies a more hard-edged and rocky appeal on ‘All I Need’, creating an energetic and punchy feel that aids a narrative about fantasy romance and everything that comes with it, nerves, excitement and all. The track features gorgeous harmonies from the artist as it reaches a soaring and satisfying climax, again showcasing just how well-rounded and inescapably memorable the artist’s sound is.

I Know Girls comes to a close with ‘Johnny’, another effortlessly slick and narrative-driven release that has a stomping rhythm to it and features more inspired, instantly captivating vocals from the artist. It is in these more sultry and slowed down moments that the groove and danceability of the artist’s sound really comes out, and this ensures that the EP comes to a close in a memorable funk-filled finale.

The EP is one that touches on a range of subjects and ideas without ever feeling too grandiose or taking itself too seriously, showcasing more than enough of the artist’s charismatic appeal and vibrant personality to leave a lasting impression on listeners, and the effortless skill and catchiness that is injected into every facet of the sound from the artist feels inspired and engrossing throughout. I Know Girls is a brash EP title that needs a huge personality and performer to live up to its braggadocios promise, and veryhandsomebilly rises to the occasion and then some.