Manchester’s Girl Friend are getting the right attention at the moment, having featured as one of The Guardian’s much coveted ‘New Band Of The Week’ and getting themselves on the XFM playlist. The title of the latest EP takes its inspiration from the lyrics of another of Manchester’s favourite sons, and he’d appreciate the considered lyrical content.
Taking its spirit from the current wave of pop/disco production (Think Hot Chip) the first track ‘Monte Carlo’ is a spirited tale of romance in the French playground of the rich and famous, and but you suspect there is a darker undertone. The sharp lyrics are what turn a collection of pleasant songs into stories to be interpreted and contain a wit and cynicism that elevate it further.
Aside from the words, the reason that Girl Friend are of interest currently is that they do pop songs with strong hooks really well. Musically it’s familiar and verging on Balearic at times. And as with all the best electro pop music at the moments it’s pinched some delicious beats and melodies from the early eighties… no bad thing.
The bands image and supporting iconography owe a lot to Bowie, Human League and ABC but sound much more contemporary and relevant, this is never more in evidence than on ‘Style And Substance’ which can be filed next to Two Door Cinema Club and is the stand out song on the EP.
‘Stop’ is the final track of this four track EP and is one is that again delves into the psyche of lead singer Amory, giving a chance to raise the volume on the vocal production and again, the result is a synth heavy track that is seductive. The band appear to be one who are conscious of image and identity and if the quality can be maintained beyond the first two EP’s into something a bit more substantial and truly memorable then this could be a very good summer for Girl Friend.
‘Arrive Alone, Leave Alone’ is out now via Tri-Tone.
James Van Praag