Creating a synth-pop atmosphere and a whole lot of energy, Girl Ray’s Girl gives fans what they truly desire
North London based Girl Ray return with their second album to date titled ‘Girl’. Due for release via Moshi Moshi November 22nd, the album was recorded at Electric Beach Studios in Margate with Ash Workman (Christine and the Queens, Metronomy). Summarising the album up down to a tee is a simple tribute to their love for all things R&B and pop. Comprising of Poppy Hankin, Iris McConnell and Sophie Moss, the trio
Title track ‘Girl’ glows in a synth-pop aura that starts the album off in a technicolour way. Exploding onto the scene in good old fashion Girl Ray style, the empowering females use rhythmical vocals to tell the tale of a youthful romance. Grooving into tomorrow, “Show Me More” features a disco atmosphere that still captures the feeling of today’s pop culture. According to the band, the song is about “crushing really hard but having to play the long game and wait it out because your boo is playing savage games. It’s your classic pop banger. Steamy dance floor. Drinks on me.” “Just Down The Hall” feels like the lovechild of The Big Moon and Haim. While finding its feet, this track feels like it doesn’t shine and showcase the band’s talents as much as we’d hoped. While the verses awkwardly find their way through the groove, it’s the ending that stands out completely. Diving into a clear psychedelia arrangement, the orchestral lead finds the clarity in the track that was needed. Adventurous and using a good use of rhythms, “Because” is the go to track on the record so far. Funk influenced but still holding onto the aspects of a pop record, the breathless vocals surrounds the track with luscious harmonies.
Whereas tracks just like “Because” blossom through a groove centred avenue, “Let It Go” sticks with the same mantra that follows with the smooth, easy flowing vocals. Featuring guest rapper PSwuave, “Takes Time” showcases a graceful attempt at keeping hold of the rhythm. While the track manages to stick to it’s goal, the statement feels like it lacks in a motive. Feeling like it misses the point entirely, the track does feel saved towards the end with a humble vocal melody. Indulging in the summer sun, “Friends Like That” surrounds itself in a thick coat of ambition. Hearing the track come out in the autumn in the UK, it feels like we’ve been elevating somewhere vibrant and energetic. A stronger aspect on the album after a bit of a bumpy middle. “Keep It Tight” compliments the band entirely. Illuminating why they went down the ‘pop’ street, this track secures why that decision was truly the right one. Fuelled with a desirable nature, it’s more of a free spirited, slick approach to their sound instead of forcing it.
‘Go To The Top’ blends their pop aura with a lounge music concept. While trying to feel like we’re back in the 70s, the number feels like it’s been done before and better somewhere else. The rose tinted glasses on the music seems to haze out the actual concept of the number. Highlighting itself as a dub-reggae track, “Beautiful” shows that how diverse the band’s sound can truly get. Keeping the pioneer sound of the flute throughout their album, bringing the flute back in this number brings it all together that it’s still Girl Ray and not some other band trying to be something their not. A lovable number from a band that truly live and breathe music.
Exclaiming their love for another, “Like The Stars” illustrates expressing emotive love language. Labelling everything that Hankin would do throughout the track, it loses the momentum with an unorganised instrumentation towards the end. Kind of creating an experimental feel, the closer isn’t as you’d think as such. Concluding it all, the album showcases the trio diving into the pop and R&B world good and proper. With bumps in the road throughout the album, the journey is still smooth and beholds another great release from a band that we adore.
Out everywhere November 22nd.