Music Review

Goat Girl – Below The Waste

todayJune 6, 2024 55

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By – Jackie Lo

Recommended if you like Porridge Radio, Squirrel Flower, Shame, PJ Harvey, Dry Cleaning

Goat Girl released their third LP Below The Waste today on Rough Trade Records. It was recorded across Ireland’s Hellfire Studios, Damon Albarn’s Studio 13 and a series of other locations including the band’s own South London studio and was co-produced by the band themselves and John Spud Murphy (Lankum, black midi). The band, named after Bill Hicks’ character ‘Goat Boy’, consists of the trio vocalist/guitarist Lottie Pendlebury (she/her), bassist Holly Mullineaux (she/her) and drummer Rosy Jones (they/them). The album, full of dark, introspective themes and instrumentation, was heavily influenced by drummer Rosy Jones’ experience of coming out as queer and their battle with addiction.

Goat Girl has been making my playlists since the release of their self-titled first album, Goat Girl in 2018. Their track “The Man” was my first favorite song of theirs and remains in rotation for my playlists. In 2021, they released On All Fours and their track “Sad Cowboy” made my list of favorite songs of the year. Three years later, they released “Ride Around” as their first single off this new album and I was hooked again.

“Ride Around” is my favorite track on the album. It opens with a sparse dirty guitar and a fuck you delivery to the vocals reminiscent of a lost track from PJ Harvey’s Rid Of Me. I love when a song can feel delicate and raw and gritty all at the same time. This song feels like a cry for help. A cry for friendship. A cry for opening up and being real. As the song unfolds it takes you on a winding journey and ends with a layered round of “Shall we go / Ride around / Hit the floor / Dawn is out” that is catchy as hell.

“Motorway” is another favorite track on the album. With dark and fuzzy synths, the song feels a little more polished with beautiful backing vocals and it makes you want to move. It feels so personal though, like a little dance you want to do just for yourself. I can see it as the closing track on a movie when the protagonist finds their resolution, gains their freedom, gets in the car, and drives away. There is a beautiful video for this song too that was directed by world famous choreographer and director Holly Blakey with dancers dressed in archival Vivienne Westwood pieces and styled by notable stylist Matthew Josephs.  Gorgeous.

Another track I loved was “Words Fell Out”. It is quieter than the other two tracks mentioned above and opens with the line “I only want the best for you. Like I always should.” It is a love letter we’ve all written to someone we’ve missed. It’s watching someone you love struggle and being helpless yet it’s beautiful and hopeful for a time to come when life can be better for everyone.

With a breakdown of guttural screams on “tcnc” (take care, not crack) to a piano ballad on “take it away” and a dark layered rocker “sleep talk” with a painful “cause when you’re not there…I miss ya”, this album has it all. It’s so diverse in sound while still feeling like a cohesive thought. Below The Waste is definitely going to be a favorite album of mine this year. This is the perfect album to listen to when you’re looking for an escape. It’s a much needed reprieve during these trying times. It’s a solo drive at night to wherever the roads take you.

Pick up the new Goat Girl album today at your favorite record store – we recommend SEASICK RECORDS

Written by: Jackie Lo

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