City reviews Feel It
one tremendously talented singer/songwriter/guitarist who
stepped off the always-tottering indie pedestal back in the
mid-90s, and place her smack dab in between two equally gifted
musicians. The result? Some Girls, a vibrant new trio made up of
Juliana Hatfield, Freda Love and Heidi Gluck.
Girls traces its roots back to late-80s Boston, when Hatfield
and Love comprised two-thirds of the burgeoning scene’s
seminal Blake Babies. The jangle-pop indie darlings — who
carved out a sweet sound that belied a frequently dark lyrical
core — called it quits in 1992. But a one-off 2001 reunion
reminded the two women how much they enjoyed playing together.
tapes traveled through the post between Love’s Bloomington home and
Hatfield’s Cambridge address,
snippets of notes became full-fledged songs shimmering with
potential. When they decided to meet up for demo sessions,
Love’s multi-instrumentalist Indianapolis friend Heidi Gluck
joined in to
flesh out the sound. It didn’t take long to realize the
chemistry and chords were there to record a full-length record.
Some Girls’ debut release on Koch Records, will hit stores
September 9th. The skillfully spare production by Jake Smith
(Mysteries of Life, Vulgar Boatmen) steps out of the way for
these 11 sparkling songs — as he makes the difficult seem
has received her share of accolades over the years, but she’s
also taken a few critical kicks. Her confidence is at an
all-time high on the band’s first single, “Necessito.”
(“Critics with their death threats, I just drown them out”).
A funky, relaxed ode to the necessity of loud music, the
composition is pared down, clean, and comprised of a deceptively
straightforward riff — catchy as hell — played over and over
to winning effect.
rolls sloppily into “The Prettiest Girl,” an ode to a
Hatfield high school classmate who was rumored to have attempted
suicide. Love’s steady buoyant beat underscores the simple
chorus, while a background chant of “hey hey” lies under a
layer of choppy guitar.
song on Feel It is
accessible without being predictable — and a healthy handful
are instantly catchy. You’d be hard-pressed to hear
“Necessito” or “On My Back” just once and not catch them
running through your head on repeat.
voice has grown deeper and breathier with age, lending itself
nicely to the smattering of blues-influenced numbers on the
record, including an inspired refashioning of the Robert Johnson
classic, “Malted Milk.” For those who have heard
Hatfield’s live renditions over the years, this studio
recording is a true treat, an undercurrent of rumble and texture
in Hatfield’s voice and Gluck’s slide guitar lazily swaying
songwriting skills have sharpened with this release. She's
penned an instantly classic lyric with “Almost True” (“Our
love is real and almost true”), while Hatfield adds a haunting
whisper during the bridge, barely audible beneath the song’s
a decidedly Velvet Underground-tinged backbeat, “Launch Pad”
is the lone song sung by Love on Feel
It. Hatfield and Gluck entwine their backing vocals
throughout as the song reaches a controlled frenzy, and then
abruptly ends in a happy, exhausted heap.
Girls’ signature sound snakes through each of these tracks, a
groove that weaves together pop, alt-country, blues, and even a
fragment of funk. Simple beats bookend unexpected turns,
capturing an exact yet casual feel. There’s no slick sheen
here, only a truthful, organic groove.
Sledge is a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest.