ABOVE: GIRLPOOL. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALICE BAXLEY.
Lo-fi rockers Girlpool are about to hit the indie-punk scene in a big way thanks to a tour with Waxahatchee and their forthcoming debut LP, Before The World Was Big (due June 2). The rising duo—composed of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker—focuses on raw, self-honoring lyrics, a skill they learned from musical influences such as Bright Eyes, Dear Nora, and Elliott Smith. In late 2014, Girlpool released their self-titled debut EP and moved from the West Coast to the East. Through the combination of punk aesthetics and lyrical odes to friendship and existential questions, Tividad and Tucker’s music has a rebellious, yet enchanting spin. Earlier this year, the band also released a mini-documentary, Things Are Okay, which highlights their camaraderie and tour with Slutever.
In support of the upcoming debut, Tividad and Cleo just released the lead single, “Ideal World,” a song that echoes the familiar sounds of indie grunge-rock acts like Radiator Hospital. We recently spoke with Girlpool, who also toured with Jenny Lewis, about being old souls and the importance of keeping it real.
NAMES: Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker
AGES: Tividad, 19; Tucker, 18
MEETING POINT: Harmony Tividad: The story is we met at The Smell [in downtown L.A.]. We found that we had similar intentions creatively and just as people in our lives. We started jamming and writing together, [and] I guess the goal out of our music is to be genuine, vulnerable, and honest with ourselves. We just want to honor ourselves and have a wonderful experience making music together, exploring what’s possible with a duo of bass, guitar and vocals.
WHAT’S IN A NAME: Cleo Tucker: Our friend had the idea from a chapter in Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut called “Girlpool.” It’s basically a group of people in a room that are fed information who type it out, but don’t know what any of it means.
THE BEGINNING: Tucker: Harmony and I wrote the songs, recorded them in a day and a half, and put them on tapes. We sold them locally in L.A. and people picked up on it and were liking it. The process isn’t quick, but we write a lot. We write a lot of songs very quickly. We met Mark [Bowen of Wichita Recordings] and were thrown on a show Mark was DJing because he wanted to see us. We released the EP on vinyl—that’s how that happened.
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF: Tucker: Harmony and I were both made to make music. It’s more than having fun—we need it. From the beginning, we didn’t think anyone would listen to the Girlpool EP, but it didn’t change the importance of our creative outlet or the value for us. There’s no intense goal or revolution we’re seeking; we’re just staying true to ourselves and making music.
BEFORE THE WORLD WAS BIG: Tividad: You can expect more honest songwriting. There are a lot of songs we’ve experimented with, played live at shows, so, if you’ve seen us at shows, you’ve probably heard a lot of the songs we’re planning to put on the record. There will be some new ones that have been less heard, but it’ll be what we’re feeling right now, which is a lot.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: Tividad: I don’t think [our ages] have really affected us. It’s not a factor. Since we don’t really identify with our ages, it doesn’t really affect people’s perceptions of us.
Tucker: As human beings we face challenges for tons of reasons because of where our minds are. I think that age isn’t that relevant. When I think about challenges we have to face, I think it’s for reasons beyond our demographics. The challenges are because we’ve never done this before.
BEFORE THE WORLD WAS BIG WILL BE RELEASED JUNE 2. FOR MORE ON THE BAND AND UPCOMING TOUR DATES, VISIT GIRLPOOL’S FACEBOOK.