Starting out as a songwriting vehicle for Jesse Wiliams, Girlatones soon grew with the addition of folk singer-songwriter Leah Senior, followed by the rhythm section of Tam Matlakowski and Fabian Hunter Shaw whose combined musical CVs boast a mind boggling array of Melbourne bands including TV, Pop Singles, The Stevens, Permits, Way Dynamic, Chube Screamer, Baby Blue and China Beach.
Regular gig-goers in Melbourne will have been hard-pressed to miss a Girlatones show in the past few years, the band playing regularly at pubs, clubs and small festivals, with band members also doing the rounds in other outfits like Traffik Island, Way Dynamic and Baby Blue. Not to mention one quarter of the band is Leah Senior whose beguiling folk tunes have been winning hearts all over Australia and overseas.
Girlatones – Horn If You’Re Honky (March, 2020)
12″ Vinyl Album Limited Edition of 400 (MER 019)
Jesse Wiliams – vocals, guitar
Leah Senior – guitar, vocals
Tam Matlakowski – bass
Fabian Hunter Shaw – drums
Following the unabashed garage pop of first album Fitting in Well (2017), Jesse Williams and crew have refined their DiY production chops and crafted an album that is rich in sonic layers and emotional depth, whilst remaining loose at the edges like all the best pop music.
First single, the piano-led ballad ‘Get to the End’, displayed a more melancholic, introspective side to Girlatones but the band struck back for second single, ‘We Respond to Love’ a one-minute-fifty-second slice of pop bliss that was described by blog Austin Town Hall as “shimmering like some of the best power-pop you’re likely to hear this day, or ever”.
Impending third single ‘Bingo Level Humour’ takes an altogether different path – one perhaps led by Paul McCartney and a parade of marching drummers, spouting quirky one-liners.
Elsewhere on the album, we hear some baroque strings on Jesse’s ode to solitary creativity ‘To Sing’, while instrumentation gets stripped back to a 12-string acoustic on the tender ‘2 Young 2 Forget’. But the big bubblegum feels are never far away, as heard on songs like ‘One Chord Too Many’, ‘Pop Stars’ and ‘The Saddest Synth’.
Horn if You’re Honky by Girlatones released on Meritorio Records and Lost & Lonesome in Australia.