Girls Names is a surf rock/shoegaze trio from Belfast, Northern Ireland. They started out in 2009 as a duo, but they added bassist Claire Miskimmin a few months after they booked their first gig. In 2010, they released a 12″ single “Don’t Let Me In” on the great Brooklyn indie label Captured Tracks. They also released a split 7″ record “I Lose/You Win” with fellow Slumberland Records artist Brilliant Colors on the b-side. Last April, they released their full-length debut Dead To Me on Slumberland. They just released another split 7″ single, with the non-album track “A Troubled See” as the A side and Tough Love Records artist Weird Dreams providing the B-side “House of Secrets”
I learned about Girls Names the same way I learn about a lot of things. Label affiliation. If you knew me in the mid-1990s and/or if you know me even a little bit now, you know that I’ll gobble up almost anything that Slumberland puts out. There’s a very big, eagerly anticipated Lorelei record coming out later this summer, and they’ve already been killing it this year. And last year. And every year that they’ve been in business. I’ve already written about 12 different Slumberland artists and made a few other references to the San Francisco label. Search those posts here.
Without knowing any better, you might think that the band comes from California themselves. At the very least, you’d probably assume that they come from some place that’s really sunny instead of the rainy, dreary Belfast.
I haven’t heard the “Don’t Let Me In” single, and I haven’t properly listened to the new song, but you really need to check out this album. Specifically, today’s song.
“I Lose” by Girls Names
One of the things that I love about this is the opening bit with the drums. It’s what a lot of people will refer to as “Psychocandy drums” or the more general “Jesus & Mary Chain drums”. However, that drum sound that was relied upon so heavily on Psychocandy (namely on “Just Like Heaven” and “Sowing Seeds”), was homage to that legendary Phil Spector-designed beat from “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes. That classic beat, layered with those warped surfy guitar bits, it makes a strange texture. It’s a texture that I like, but I’ll admit that it’s strange. It’s also a bit of a time warp. You’re not sure whether you’re in the early 1960s, the mid 1980s, the late 1990s, or the current time. Add to that, you’ve already been fooled into thinking that Girls Names are from California.
The “I Lose/You Win” split 7″ is out of print. I don’t think there’s much point in owning a digital copy of split 7″ record. It sort of defeats the purpose. However, it is available as a download. For the purposes of today’s song, though, you should order a physical copy of Dead to Me directly from Slumberland Records here. The LP comes on fuchsia vinyl with a download coupon. I’ll admit that I bought a digital copy from eMusic, but lately I’ve been buying physical stuff from Slumberland, and they do a superb job with every aspect of the order. Since you probably don’t have a mom-and-pop record shop in your town, you should absolutely order your records from the source. And you should order them frequently.