Goat Girl

On All Fours

Laced with melancholy, Goat Girl's *On All Fours* remains an unihibited joy, finds Nick Roseblade

When looking back through my notes I have written the phrase “wonderfully wonky”. This must have been an important thing as I underlined it three times. After giving myself a break and listening to back to the latest release from Goat Girl, the evocatively titled On All Fours, I think I might have been on to something. The thirteen tracks that make up the album are wonderfully wonky. They are also incredibly catchy, with subtle sci-fi tinges to them. But this is what we’ve come to expect from the South London post-punk outfit.

On All Fours is the strongest release to date. It builds form the glorious self-titled debut album and the Udder Sounds EP. The songs are looser, whilst being tighter at the same time. The elongated instrumental sections on ‘Jazz (In the Supermarket)’, with their mutating time signatures and laconic guitars, is one of the standout moments on the album. After listening to it I couldn’t imagine the band in 2018 having the confidence to not only attempt it but pull it off with such aplomb.

On All Fours isn’t just about skewing tempos and chord changes. ‘P.T.S. Tea’ and ‘Once Again’ are delightfully poppy, with the latter being a ballad about how “People always change. It never stays the same”. The way Lottie Pendlebury delivers this line is more interesting than the concept itself. Pendlebury is half lamenting, half rejoicing this fact. ‘The Crack’ is the hardest hitting track on the album. Huge crunching guitars cascade around us during the verses while a string section backs up a chorus. which shows the band are more than capable of writing about love, loss, and redemption, too.

Despite its upbeat melodies, On All Fours is laced with melancholy, as the best pop music should be. The album was recorded in early 2020 by producer of the moment Dan Carey. It was a time when we were only starting to come to grips with what was on the cards. The notion of the support bubble was still to be coined, but the band were already writing about living in a world within a world.. When this reality starts to set in so does the disillusionment, along with a loss of empathy. At it’s heart On All Fours is an album about not letting that happen to you. About staying positive and keeping busy. As Pendlebury sang “People always change. It never stays the same”. If they didn’t On All Fours might not have been the uninhibited joy that it is.

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