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HORSEGIRL

Penelope Lowenstein (guitar, vocals), Nora Cheng (guitar, vocals), and Gigi Reece (drums) - the best friends comprising Horsegirl - do everything collectively, from songwriting to trading vocal duties and swapping instruments to sound and visual art design. The warmth and strength of their bond crackles through every second of their debut. With lyrics intentionally impressionistic and open-ended, and a sound that ranges with joy and enthusiasm across a range of styles, Versions of Modern Performance offers many pathways.

Following last year’s one-off ‘Billy’, lead single ‘Anti-glory’ is elastic and propulsive. The accompanying video, directed by Erin Vassilopoulous, exudes confidence, putting Horsegirl front and center, their uncanny ability to layer sound on full display. “We wrote Anti-glory almost by accident, while messing around with an old song during rehearsal. The song fell into place immediately, and looking back, we have no idea how we wrote it,” the band explains. “As always, this song and album are for Chicago, our friends, our friend’s bands, everyone who can play the guitar, and everyone who can’t play the guitar.”

The friendship of these three goes far beyond Horsegirl. Reece and Cheng, college freshmen, and Lowenstein, a high school senior, learned to play—and met—through the significant network of Chicago youth arts programs, and they have their own mini-rock underground, complete with zine distros, that they describe as somewhat separate from the “adult shows” that take place at bars and DIY spaces they don’t have access to. They’re exultant about their friends’ talent, noting that any of the bands from that scene could have been (or might still be!) plucked up the way they were.

Versions of Modern Performance was recorded with John Agnello (Kurt Vile, The Breeders, Dinosaur Jr.) at Chicago’s Electrical Audio. “It’s our debut bare-bones album in a Chicago institution with a producer who we feel like really respected what we were trying to do,” the band says. Across the record, Horsegirl expertly play with texture, shape and shade, showcasing their fondness for improvisation and experimentation. One can hear elements of the ‘80s and ‘90s independent music the band love so deeply and sincerely—the scuzzy melodicism of what used to be called “college rock,” the cool, bubbly space-age sheen of the ‘90s vamps on lounge and noir; the warm, noisy roar of shoegaze; the economical hooks and rhythms of post-punk. There’s even a bit of no wave mixed in for good measure. But as Horsegirl fuse all of this together, it feels not like a pastiche or a hacky retread but something as playful and unique as its predecessors.

They’re best understood as part of a continuum, but they’re building something for themselves.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: From the opening moments of the LP, it's clear that Horsegirl are here to stay. Gritty post-punk atmospheres clash headfirst with bright melodies and soaring, rich grooves. A perfect follow up to their smash 7" 'Billy', and sure to be just as well received.

TRACK LISTING

1. Electrolocation 1
2. Anti-glory
3. Beautiful Song
4. Live And Ski
5. Bog Bog 2
6. Dirtbag Transformation (Still Dirty)
7. The Fall Of Horsegirl
8. Option 8
9. World Of Pots And Pans
10. The Guitar Is Dead 3
11. Homage To Birdnoculars
12. Billy

Horsegirl

Billy

    On new single “Billy”, Horsegirl push their singular brand of innovative guitar music a step further, expanding their already enveloping wall of sound with three-part harmonies, swelling, overdriven guitars and unexpected tempo changes. Produced by the band and legendary producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile), the electrifying new track not only marks a significant evolution for the young band, but further solidifies Horsegirl as the exciting new bastions of alternative music.

    TRACK LISTING

    Billy
    History Lesson Part Two


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