Much like the ambiguity of this band’s name, girlsnails’ self-titled EP is a beautifully constructed melting-pot of different genres made accessible by the catchy brass-section and dreamy vocal performances. Compared to their summer demos 2018, the musical repertoire of the winners of last year’ Shindig now includes an additional saxophone and bass trombone — as well as an increased emphasis on overdubbing vocals. Many members of the band have progressed in their musical education from various programs such as UBC, Capilano and VCC, and it shows in the increased complexity and attention to detail in these three new tracks.
“Tapioca Tadpole,” beautifully opens up the EP with a cathartic drone of sparkly metallic strings, and then promptly switches to a new time signature with drums and horns to immediately catch the listener’s attention. However, even with all these instruments in the mix, the singing is clear and fits well within the orchestration. Halfway through the track, an impressive riff sweeps in, which could either be a digital arpeggiator, or an incredibly talented musician. The end of the song wondrously repeats the catchy line “Awful feeling but I never earned it / I wasn’t born to be a winner,” in a culmination of overdubbed chorus chants and saxophone playing along with the melody.
The next track, “You’re Not Martin Luther King!,” brings a groovy riff that is emphasized with a unique electric guitar melody in each ear along with the horn sections arriving at different points within the song. The lyrics “In the water we all float away” sticks with me as it ends each of the verses.
The final track, hilariously named “Domin-Oh-No I Ordered Another Pizza” picks the pace up again with seriously impressive drumming. On top of that, there are points within the song that the two guitars sound like rainbow droplets, lightly showering my ears in the form of dreamy electric melodies.
These three tracks made me feel as though I was deep in the forest on a magical camping trip, gazing out into the sky from the comfort of a calm yet cathartic cave, while a meteor shower of extraordinary guitar tones and warm vocals filled my field of view. Well done girlsnails.