Album Reviews

Church Girls- Indie Folk-Rockers from Philadelphia

“A girl and three guys in a band named Church Girls. We have fun with it.”
Four piece ensemble from Philadelphia, known as Church Girls, bring indie folk-rock, and personal lyrics, on their debut self titled EP, released January 27th. While the name may be misleading, the band only consists of one female, Mariel Beaumont, who is the lead singer, and also plays guitar. Composing the rest of the band are: Evan Anders (lead guitar, keyboard), Jack Firneno (drums), and Max Beaumont (bass), who is Mariel’s twin brother. The five track compilation seems to focus on a theme of life with a very heavy influence of folk-rock heard on each track. While the introduction of “Hymn,” will set the tone, the progression throughout the album, lyrically and musically, translate the honest feelings and life experiences occurring.

Hymn,” a 0:48 second track serves as an introduction for the album. While “Hymn” won’t necessarily reflect what is to be expected on the album, besides intimacy within the songs, a folk twang felt in Beaumont’s voice, (Jesse Gimbel providing backing vocals), it does contain a wide range of feelings in the short time. “Devil take me home,” is not something you would normally hear, let alone sing in a church, and the unsureness in oneself “wandering,” to heaven and hell is the most relatable human problem – “gonna find you / gonna find myself.”

Following the hymn is “Young Planes,” which is a more upbeat tempo, in comparison to the start of the album. Musically speaking, the bass that begins the track is prominently heard and adds support as certain parts of the song are spoken. It makes a smooth transition into the chorus, which is extremely catchy. The switch within this song, is the part that is favorable and memorable. By 2:30, it is almost as the first half of the song ends, and the first idea. Upbeat, centralizing on “…I’m a long way from young,” in a carefree manner, is the first idea. Once the switch hits, the song slows down, and builds on the folk foundation with a small amount of a blues’ approach in the guitar. Repeating the same chorus, yet now the idea is realizing, “…I’m a long way from young.”

Flat circle,” starts off  like an old country song and immediately changes sound with the help of Beaumont’s voice, and is a short catchy tune, yet not memorable. Certain parts of Beaumont’s voice were lovely to hear, which I wish was heard throughout. Moving onto the next song,”Powder Keg,” which is the track that will define Church Girls’ sound. It’s well constructed for the sound they are trying to emulate and clearly represents themselves. Embedded are great guitar hooks, catchy,upbeat drumming, a prominent bass, and distinct way of singing, provided by Beaumont, and her folk like dialect.

The last track completes the circle of emotions, and ends how the album began; with sincerity. “Three” is a 1:51 minute track, and exudes the most feeling than any other track on the album due to its rawness of simplicity. A meaningful, and slow-tempo guitar begins the song, with a choir backing, provided by the band, making the impact fuller. The only words to be sung are, “Spend each night staring at my face / thinking I’ll just play it as it lays / I hope I stay / I hope that I stay.”  Emphasis needed on “stay,” with the inclusion of “that,” derives so much emotion with the fewest words. This would be my personal favorite and as much as I wish for it to be longer, I know it would ruin the beauty behind the song.

There’s a lot of potential and feeling behind the Church Girls’ EP, and it’s a well-blend of catchy indie melodies fused with their influential contemporary folk sound.

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