Picture this: It’s dusk. The sun is dipping below the horizon and you find yourself walking home after a stressful day of playing mental ping pong with your feelings about whatever romantic interest you have this week. Chicago’s Girl K opens their album with a Tears for Fears-esque synth and strong vocals, crooning “You’re gone again / and I don’t think this time you’ll be coming back” into your ear as you watch the sky fade into a soft purple.
Girl K is for the People sees its release on September 10, 2021 via Take This to Heart Records and the album packs quite the punch as a six track record, rounding out at about 20 minutes. In that time, Girl K pulls you in with wavy guitar lines akin to Prom Queen-era Beach Bunny, surfy background vocals and drums that fill up every nook and cranny of space on every track. It’s an energetic, head bopping album that’ll have you wishing it wasn’t over as the last track fades out.
“You” is the first track on the record and it’s just tender enough to pull at your heart strings, the steady kick drum enough to make you wanna break out your finest Footloose dance moves. In just two minutes and 30 seconds, Girl K has already proven they know how to build you up and break you down with incredible precision that leaves you wanting more. And they put their money where their mouth is, not letting up for a single second throughout every song.
The second song, “Best for You” starts with a catchy piano that effortlessly glides into an incredibly groovy (yes, I said what I said) bass line and it doesn’t let up for even a moment. Girl K delves into navigating the depths of love and allowing yourself to turn inward, manufacturing very introspective lyrics that feel like a wonderful juxtaposition from the 80s synth lines and upbeat drums that coat the record.
Girl K touches on existentialism, finding confidence in one’s self, pushing against expectations, having to break out against the patriarchy, standing up for what you believe and believing in who you are. By the end of every song, you want to dance just a little bit more — whether it’s the lyrical content, that killer synth or the consistent and vibrant drum beat, it continues to be a mystery. But something tells me it’s all of those.
The album’s closer, “Departures” is exactly what it says it is, and an incredible departure at that. It’s a very thoughtful song — like you’re observing multiple people’s lives as they move around you while you’re left standing in the middle. Layers of vocal melodies drift and fade away into an awesome, very Pixies-like guitar and bass riff that carry you to the end of the song. It’s just enough to make you feel as though you’re in that one scene in Perks of Being a Wallflower when they’re going through the tunnel. You know what I’m talking about.
Girl K is For the People is a little Illuminati Hotties, a sprinkle of Best Coast, a dash of psychedelic with a smattering of crunchy, fuzzy guitars that absolutely scratch a mental itch and leave you perfectly satisfied. It’s a very fun record and perfect for the winding down of summer. Girl K sounds like what watching the leaves start to change looks like. They hit the road this fall with Slow Pulp, and you would be a sucker to miss out on seeing them.