12 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Far removed from the bedroom-recording feel of Album, Girls take a spectacular step forward on their second full-length. Father, Son, Holy Ghost is dense, lush, and layered with particular care placed on capturing Christopher Owens’ voice. His vocals—the songs’ main focus—are still vulnerable and unguarded. The same elements that made Album and their 2010 Broken Dreams Club EP arresting and different are here yet delivered on a grander and more colorful scale. West Coast pop and psychedelic rock remain touchstones (“Honey Bunny” and “Magic” are pop gems), but here those styles are starting points for new and unexpected explorations. The tracks can vary wildly from each other yet work brilliantly as a collection. “Die” and “Vomit” feature elaborate intros, extended jams, and trippy guitar solos, while the soulful “Love Like a River” builds to a gospel-inspired crescendo with thick organ fills and backup singers. “Just a Song,” “My Ma,” and the sprawling, eight-minute “Forgiveness” are intricate, hypnotic ballads, and the heartbreaking and spare “Jamie Marie” is emotionally affecting.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Far removed from the bedroom-recording feel of Album, Girls take a spectacular step forward on their second full-length. Father, Son, Holy Ghost is dense, lush, and layered with particular care placed on capturing Christopher Owens’ voice. His vocals—the songs’ main focus—are still vulnerable and unguarded. The same elements that made Album and their 2010 Broken Dreams Club EP arresting and different are here yet delivered on a grander and more colorful scale. West Coast pop and psychedelic rock remain touchstones (“Honey Bunny” and “Magic” are pop gems), but here those styles are starting points for new and unexpected explorations. The tracks can vary wildly from each other yet work brilliantly as a collection. “Die” and “Vomit” feature elaborate intros, extended jams, and trippy guitar solos, while the soulful “Love Like a River” builds to a gospel-inspired crescendo with thick organ fills and backup singers. “Just a Song,” “My Ma,” and the sprawling, eight-minute “Forgiveness” are intricate, hypnotic ballads, and the heartbreaking and spare “Jamie Marie” is emotionally affecting.

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2:33
4:50
4:50
3:58
3:57
6:23
6:39
3:27
7:49
3:41
4:28
2:28

About Girls

San Francisco duo Girls make druggy, ethereal pop in the spirit of Spiritualized and Ariel Pink. Christopher Owens was born in Florida to a mother and father who were actively involved in the Children of God cult, and spent most of his childhood drifting. After moving to Puerto Rico, Asia, and Europe, and having his first experiences as a street musician singing carols in a Children of God kids' choir, he became disenchanted with his lifestyle after catching a peek at American pop culture on TV, and decided to break away and move to the States. At 16, Owens raised enough money by playing guitar on the streets for a plane ticket; he joined his older sister, who lived in Amarillo, Texas. Without a proper education, he resorted to stocking shelves at a grocery store, and eventually became friends with some punks who regularly stole from the store. He shaved his hair into a Mohawk and joined a hardcore band called Hubris.

Four years later, with the help of an older, wealthy music enthusiast who took Owens under his wing and gave him a part-time job, he moved to San Francisco to pursue a new life as a painter. Once there, he met Liza Thorn, and started a band with her called Curls. In the bustling nightlife, she introduced him to Matt Fishbeck, who invited him to play with up-and-comers Holy Shit!, and later connected him with JR White. A kindred spirit with a less-sprawling background, White had grown up in Santa Cruz with liberal-minded teachers, and besides playing in some punk groups and learning about recording, he'd spent the majority of his twenties in San Francisco: a cook by day and a slacker by night.

With a common love of drugs and music, the two started making music together and eventually earned a deal with Matador's baby label True Panther Sounds. Their first album, simply titled Album, received rave reviews, and was named one of the ten best albums of 2009 by Spin, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork. Following the unexpected success of Album and arena-sized international tours with the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Julian Casablancas, Girls invested their finances into music equipment. Inspired, Owens and White recorded over 70 new songs, and picked their favorite six to make a 30-minute EP, titled Broken Dreams Club. True Panther released it in the autumn of 2010, and quickly returned the boys to the studio for their second full-length, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, which followed in September of 2011. The album would prove to be their swan song, however, when Owens announced he was leaving Girls for personal reasons, resulting in the group disbanding in the summer of 2012. ~ Jason Lymangrover

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