Feature

Girls: Album

Despite their dark pasts, Christopher Owens and Chet White try to channel good vibrations through hazy Californian surf pop.

(Matador)

****

San Francisco’s Girls are actually boys, said Will Dean in the London Guardian. Christopher Owens and Chet White’s life stories involve cult-member parents, millionaire benefactors, and drug addictions. Yet despite their dark pasts, the two try to channel good vibrations through hazy Californian surf pop. Starting with the opener, “Lust for Life,” Album leaps into a “sepia sunlight of heartbreak, love, loneliness, and partying.” The songs are simple, the lyrics forthright, and Owens sounds like a “descendant of every sad nerd genius in pop history,” said Tom Breihan in Pitchforkmedia.com. In a hiccupy voice, he sings with the “internalized classicism of someone who’s been listening to ­oldies radio in his sleep his whole life.” Owens brings sincerity to “Laura” and despair to “Hellhole Ratrace,” said Jon Caramanica in The New York Times. With every song, he composes a “devastatingly fresh reframing of the pop songbook.”

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