Album: What Chaos Is Imaginary
Record Label: Anti
Recommended tracks: Track 4, “Hire,” Track 14, “Roses”
Girlpool’s newest album, released Feb. 1, 2019, dives into themes of entering adulthood and navigates a journey inward. Each song feels like being immersed in a different world rather than a continuous narrative weaved throughout. It’s like listening to fragments of distant memories or stories that the two members of Girlpool audibly shape into a 14-track album. Both of the lead vocalists contrast and compliment each other with one singing in their lower vocal range and the other with a higher vocal range. What Chaos Is Imaginary is a colorful project that pulls from synth-rock to indie rock influences. The vocals, which are at the focus, are layered over drum machines and synthesizers, but maintains guitar lines that remain true to the indie rock genre.
Girlpool holds their rock sound and more melancholic tones by alternating each of these approaches in the album. “Hire” enhances more of their rock side with its distorted guitars and vocals that build up and create tension. Cleo Tucker’s baritone voice is rich and powerful as they sing in a steady tone until a shift occurs right before the two minute mark. Tucker’s voice rises to an intense crescendo. The layered guitars add to the rich texture of “Hire” during the last few seconds, creating a triumphant ending. This song is placed at the beginning of the album, while the song, “Roses” is the last track.
When “Roses” closes the album, it creates a more soft and ethereal atmosphere. This track’s lyrics keep it very simple with nature imagery and only has a few words during the three minute and thirty three second duration. Tucker’s voice drags out each word in a dreamy haze that makes the entire song feel like a daydream. The lyrics are abstract and seem to be personal, making it difficult to depict a straightforward meaning. Nevertheless it’s one of the best tracks off the record and solidly marks the end of the new album. It’s very serene with Tucker’s husky vocals and the slow drumbeat underneath the growling tones coming from the guitar. When “Roses” fades out, it leaves you wanting to listen to it all over again.
Girlpool’s What Chaos Is Imaginary delivers an impressive release that encompasses a variety of tones and artistic experimentation. Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad’s honesty pierces through the album’s overall production. This album is a solid collection of songs, earning it a 4/5 rating.