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  • Writer's pictureBOOT - - - MUSIC

INTERVIEW W/ Girl Group: "It's a girlhood...we're like family!"

If you haven't heard of Liverpool's latest femme collective, Girl Group, you will do soon. Armed with a uniquely tight knit chemistry, a wide range of influences and an array of versatile vocal talents, they are taking the city by storm.

Having formed in LIPA, they have formed a sonic girlhood to combine their eclectic tastes into an Alternative / Indie sound flooded with socially conscious lyricism and layered vocal textures. We spoke with them about their formation, the power of community, their unique songwriting approaches and their latest single 'Lil's Room'.

Photo Credit: Aneela Siddiqui

Q. How did you first meet?

A. “We all met at Lipa and we've lived together in a few different living situations. Me (Mia) and Maria knew each other from back in Oslo too. We just all became friends, we weren't supposed to make a band. We were really annoyed about not feeling included and not feeling respected so we just started having studio sessions together but then we started making stuff, which was the beginnings of 'Life Is Dumb', in the first session and we were like ‘oh shit okay we gotta use this now’.”

Q. So would you say that ‘Life Is Dumb’ that came from that studio session really encapsulates the project as a whole? 

A. "Yeah definitely! We tried to capture the mundanity of our lives and the absurdity of living a 20 year old female existence all at once and I feel like the project kind of came from that idea." 

Q. Can you explain how your latest track, ‘Lil’s Room’ came about?

“We'd never written in my room before. I think we were all just feeling a bit uninspired. We'd been at the Christmas market and we were just feeling some winter blues. I feel like I might speak for the readers when I say it's just hard to get the motivation to do anything in Winter, it's hard to be creative. So we went into my room which we’d never written in before. I had my incense going and my salt lamp on and it was just a nice little cosy atmosphere. Then that kind of became the song, this idea of having a space that you can go into when you're feeling shit that can comfort you. We all live together and whenever we feel shit we just go into someone else's bedroom to get taken away from our environment and how we’re feeling. So, that's kind of what the song came from”.

Q. Did this new writing environment change your collective approach to writing the song? 

A. “It was nice to be fair because it was the first time that we'd written in a normal human space rather than studio for ages. We’d been so stuck on this other song for ages and then we got into lil’s room and I don’t think we could've written that song anywhere else. I think the new, more cosy environment meant we didn't feel so much pressure because we were away from the studio”. 

Q. What freedoms did this lack of pressure allow you?

A. "For example, the guitar that you hear in the song is just a voice memo from that day where we just recorded what Lil played and then looped that. I think it's a good example of what can be made when you don't feel that stress and pressure and it's just about sitting and having fun instead".

Q. How do you feel living and working so closely together impacts the Girl Group project?

A. "It's really weird. It's really good in some ways but it's also really challenging. I think we’re so glad that we live together now as It makes it so much easier. I think a big positive is that because we're such close friends and because we live together  we have to be very direct and honest with each other. We've gotten used to communicating very openly about vulnerable stuff, we'll have a little break in the middle of a session because someone feels very vulnerable and then we'll cry for 10 minutes and then we'll move on and I think that's maybe the best thing about writing with the girls."

"Then on the other side t's challenging because its hard to draw a line between working and being friends. Since we live together it feels almost more like we're family, because we argue like we're family and we love each other like we're family as well. It’s a very sisterly kind of closeness…it’s a girlhood!"

Q. Was the name Girl Group chosen to convey this sense of collective identity and closeness?

A. "We had so many other band name suggestions before we settled on Girl Group, we had Pop Tarts, floor snacks, Rodney's Angels…haha! When we first came up with Girl Group we didn’t like it, but its grown on us all. It does say so perfectly what we are, everything that we do is centred around women but then also that sense of playfulness and togetherness. It's like a little community." 

Q. Given that Girl Group is very much a collective, do you find it easy to agree on creative choices?

A. "No, oh my god. We do have such a strong vision for what we want to do musically and visually which we all agree on but we do also sit for five hours looking at two vaguely similar edited cover photos arguing over which is best and during writing sessions we can argue one word for like 30 minutes."

Q. You also sing very collectively, with different vocal parts being sang by different people - what added dimension do you feel this gives you?

A. "Yeah, when we first record a song, we all record vocals for it. We have a kind of audition process where we all do the song and then decide who’s vocals work best where. It means that there’s no one designated front person and I think that is such a nice thing with our songs that really adds to the collective kind of feel."

Q. How does this collective feel translate into the live setting?

A. “Obviously we are quite an untraditional group in terms of none of us being a front person. We all write, we all sing and we all play a bit of this and that. We've spent some time brainstorming and trying to figure out how to go about it live because we wanna try to do something a bit different and have it be representative of the group. We're thinking of doing kind of stations on stage of different instruments and then just moving around to try and make it fluid because that represents us."

"We're five girls who like to experiment so I think the ideas that come out are very fun and interesting. We're all very excited about what we could possibly add to the live experience. We want it to be such a performance than makes you feel like you’re coming into our world so we want to add stuff on stage, maybe even a big bed when we can afford that haha..just things to make it a bit more theatrical.”

Q. Have any of you come at it from a theatrical background and, if so, what do you feel this adds to your approach?

A. "Yes we have! I do think that it adds a lot.I don't think we want to act or anything on stage, we want to be ourselves, but I do think that that's where the idea of like props or choreography and movement comes from!”

Q. Can you provide any hints on what you might have coming later this year?

A. "Let’s just say that Spring is gonna be a really fun time for us."


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