January 23, 2021

Goat Girl Channels Lush


Back in the 90s we saw a host of innovative bands that didn’t quite fit the prevailing genres. What genre is Smashing Pumpkins anyway? Alt Rock? What does that even mean?

One of my favorites at the time was the band Lush. Often confused with Dream Pop and Shoegazer because of their textured sounds, Lush really didn’t fit either. Their music did have that layered guitar drone that was a hallmark of Shoegazer but also the ethereal vocals of Dream Pop. If you are unfamiliar with Lush, start with Gala, Split, and Spooky. After Split they become too much like the prevailing Alt Rock of the time to give a good sense of what made them interesting and unique.

Lush was one of those bands that lasted throughout the 90s but were done by 1996 or so. The had a few songs and EPs more recently in 2016 and 2017 but they’re that’s about it. So, imagine my surprise when I hear a song on my Spotify “Release Radar” playlist that just sounded so much like Lush that I thought they must have put out a new single. Awesome!

Instead, it was one of my more favorite newer bands Goat Girl. I love Goat Girl because they (usually) remind me of Hole but without the screaming. Think Hole’s Doll Parts and you get Goat Girl. The lyrics can be in-your-face confrontational, with that quiet-quiet-loud pattern typical of grunge and especially Hole. The lead singer even sounds a bit like Courtney Love. Goat Girl is Hole without the Punk. If you listen to almost any song on their eponymous 2018 album, you’ll hear the connection immediately.

That’s why the latest single “Badibaba” threw me for a loop. It had the lush (no pun intended) guitar arrangements and otherworldly lyrical delivery of Lush. It hits the Lush sweet spot at the intersection of Shoegazer and Dream Pop, only this is 2021 not 1991! This is not Grunge, or Riot Grrrls, or even the 2020s. It’s very Lush (pun intended).

Goat Girl is a band that continues to evolve. Maybe this is just one song. Hopefully not because it’s such a good song and I would love to see them explore this style more. I am looking forward to what comes next.