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Formed in January 2009, Girls Names quickly garnered recognition outside of the confines of their hometown of Belfast with the release of their eponymous debut EP in 2010 through New York’s Captured Tracks. A mini album through London imprint Tough Love soon followed, setting the foundations for their critically acclaimed debut LP Dead To Me, released in April last year again by Tough Love in Europe and cult West Coast label Slumberland Records in the US.
Girls Names released their critically acclaimed second album, The New Life, in February and it marked a new direction for the band altogether. That directional shift is emphasized even further by a new limited edition 12” EP , entitled The Next Life.
With the artwork making a playful nod to Bowie’s latest record, it’s not surprising that the EP should see the band experiment with the sonic make up of their last album. On the A side is a cover version of Brian Eno’s ‘Third Uncle’. Recorded in August of this year, it is the first recorded Girls Names track to feature new drummer Gib Cassidy and offers a telling glimpse at what creative steps the band may next take. On the flip are two incredible remixes of tracks taken from the sister record. The first is by producer/composer/dance don legend David Holmes, who lends a somewhat European elan to the titular track. The second sees Gabe Gurnsey from Factory Floor add his band’s characteristic dance floor focus to Girls Names’ motorik groove, turning in something that jitters and pulses in a manner befitting of any track attributed the Factory Floor moniker.
A mix of surf-pop harmonies, old school rock ‘n’ roll rhythms and guitar jangles, Squarehead draw inspiration from the melodies of The Beach Boys and Portland’s The Wipers. Their album, results in a modern take on classic pop where lyrics about girls and good-time sentiments combine with singalong hooks to produce something fresh and exuberant away from classic pop pastiche.