Monday, Feb. 7, 2011

Girls

Broken Dreams Club (Fantasy Trashcan/Turnstile Records)

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Wow! A band with horns. And a steel guitar. And a Mellotron! And plenty of mood. And an ethereal voice appropriately hidden in the mix. And interesting songs.  And guitars that sound like they are on loan from Chris Isaak’s Silvertone at their most atmospheric. This all adds up to a distinctive and memorable collection.

Broken Dreams Club
by Girls was a musical high mark for 2010, arriving just in time to make the onset of winter seem a little less glum. Christopher Owens is clearly the driving force behind Girls, as principal songwriter, guitarist and vocalist—he is even responsible for the CD’s cover art. Still, producer Chet “J.R.” White is also inseparable from the success of this set. It is appropriate that White is listed immediately under Owens on the CD’s list of credits.

Girls know the sound they are after—and they nail it with seeming effortlessness. Like slowly waking from a dream, the otherworldly, compelling closing track “Carolina” drifts through your brain for nearly four minutes before Owens’ first vocal line emerges. White’s production takes the sound from phantasmagoric blend to crisp, delineated sounds with the precision and expertise of a man well acquainted with his soundboard. These are fine songs, well recorded—the six selections on this EP are often haunting, beckoning one to return to the set for repeated listening.