Despite having just released their debut record, London’s own Goat Girl has been on the radar of British music enthusiasts for sometime now. Their self-titled Goat Girl is a demonstration of why they’re one of Britain’s most exciting rising acts.
It wouldn’t be difficult to spend your first 40 minutes with Goat Girl’s self titled debut trying to pin an identity to it that isn’t quite there. It can be ambient momentarily, then fast and occasionally catchy. In that sense, their debut isn’t unlike early Sonic Youth. But Goat Girl’s debut is a fresh and distinct record.
The first track, “Salty Sounds”, is just a minute of a steady beat under ambient noises and eventually a sinister melody. “Burn the Stake” starts with guitar and vocal lazily intersecting and sharing the foreground. When the rest of the band joins for the heavier chorus, the vocal climbs and swirls reminiscent of the late Dolores O’Riordan.
Given its subject-matter, “Creep” is an interesting song for Goat Girl to take on as their first catchy effort. When the song picks up, it’s as catchy as any song the record. But the lyrics tell a different tale, one of the narrator being stalked and filmed by a stranger on a train.
“I Don’t Care” parts one and two both revolved around the line from their titles. It’s a proclamation made regularly in underground art and music; that being the subculture is worth identifying and wherein the artist feels comfortable. But on an album that expresses frustrations with existing in the margins—as it does on “Country Sleaze”—perhaps the familiar “I Don’t Care” is meant to express something different when coming from Goat Girl. Maybe saying “I don’t care” is just another thing people tell themselves to find comfort.
Goat Girl’s debut delivered on the hype that had been built around their rise. By channeling generations of predecessors, Goat Girl has released a debut as unique and good as any so far this year.