Over the past year or so I’ve seen Girlfriend Material play about half a dozen times in a variety of venues so when I finally got the opportunity to hear their upcoming debut album Cool Car, due for release July 12, 2019 via Dine Alone Records, I was familiar with many of the songs, and not just the few that were on 2017’s self-titled EP. It felt like meeting a penpal in real life for the first time. It was exciting and new but familiar at the same time.
Girlfriend Material is a “supergroup” made up of Graham Wright (Vocals and Guitar) and Josh Hook (Guitar) from Tokyo Police Club, Jake Boyd (Drums) from Hollerado and Joseph Garand (Bass). In a Facebook post promoting their upcoming record release show, Garand describes the band: “Back in 2017, Graham Wright started a band. Josh joined the band. Joseph Garand joined the band, I joined the band. The band is called Girlfriend Material, and people like to point out that it has members of Tokyo Police Club and Hollerado – BUT – the real OG punk rock hero of this band is Joe, who played in a million touring punk bands that were way cooler than any band I’ve ever been in.”
The album opens with “Peace Sign,” a rocking song that shows off Garand’s bass lines and Hook’s guitar umm…hooks. It’s a really catchy song that has on more than one occasion gotten the audience dancing at a show. I had taken my 10 year old son to see them rehearse back in February and he was singing the chorus for days afterwards.
“Emily’s Famous” is one of the songs I got to know from seeing it performed live. In it, Wright sings about an old-flame named Emily who used him for lifts to auditions and then left him in her dust when she landed a spot on CSI. Being the curious (and nosy) person that I am, I did a quick Google search of “Emily CSI” to see what came back. I got a hit; however, I doubt the song is about Emily Proctor as she is about 18 years older than him and been married since she was a teenager.
“Stay in Touch,” the latest release from the album, is about the almost universal feelings people have when they reconnect after time apart, either because of distance or circumstances. How many times, at the end of an evening spending time with old friends, have we made a promise to stay in touch?
“First of the Month,” “Okay Okay” and “Boys in Bands” are all great tracks that will make their ways onto plenty of my playlists in the coming months, but my favorite song is “Deep V” with its Springsteen-esque guitar riffs.
Girlfriend Material will be playing a record release show at Lee’s Palace in Toronto on July 19 with Deanna Petroff, Knifey (who are amazing) and Lenny Bull. Tickets are about $10 including service charges through Eventbrite.
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