South London band Gaygirl arrive with their debut EP, ‘PLEASUREHEAD’. Out today, 22nd May via Permanent Creeps, it’s an often unsettling noise-pop affair that oozes confidence from every barbed observation. “It was important to us with this EP to show a different side to the band in contrast to our earlier singles and push ourselves as musically as possible, we’re all really proud of the finished product,” says one half of the core songwriting duo, Bex Morrison (vocals, guitar). Give it a listen below, and find out more about each of the tracks straight from Bex herself.
‘MNausea’ is one of our oldest tracks, and it made sense chronologically and sonically for it to be the opener as it feels like an introduction to what comes next. The whole track is a long build and release, and as a band, we really wanted to get that atmosphere of holding back and tension throughout the song. Lyrically, it’s about the idea of being in the palm of someone’s hand and the fine line of what is trust and what is being controlled. The track holds a lot of significance for us as it has stood the test of time while we have been a band – I’d go as far to say it was one of the first songs we wrote which we knew was more of the sound and vibe that we wanted to follow, and even though we have grown in other ways, it still fits in and remains relevant to who we are now.
It made sense for this to be the first single as it’s pretty brash and upfront and while it’s probably the most grunge-inspired off the EP, it definitely has other elements to it which we wanted to bring out while we were in the studio. The writing of the song began with the main riff and the rest of us building around it. While recording, we experimented a lot with sounds and how best to bring the whole track to life – Lewis used an Ebow guitar effect which instantly took it into a new realm of harmonic melancholy. The unresolved build-up of tension throughout mirrors the lyrical content of covering up feelings and not addressing problems.
This track was originally in a different tuning for a couple of reasons; Lewis wrote the riff on a guitar which was missing three strings, and the strings which remained were in an obscure tuning. However, this meant it became a bit of a pain to play live, so we ended up changing it back to standard tuning, and it actually sounded better (luckily). When we play ‘Pleasurehead’, it’s far more ferocious and abrupt than how we ended up recording it for the EP. We always viewed it as an all-steam-ahead pop style track, but once we went into the studio, our producer Nathan worked with us and we saw things in a different light. We slowed down the tempo of the song, which gave each part within the song more space and room to breath. The lyrical content is basically about getting fucked up and being a mess. ‘Pleasurehead’ becomes a term for allowing yourself to fall out of control, forgetting about any consequence in order to liberate your own ‘pleasure’, albeit short-lived (and with consequence).
‘Killing It’ is definitely the wildcard and the obvious closer for us on the EP. The original writing of the track went through a few twists and turns musically and structurally, and it became an exercise of adding and taking away things until we were content. When we started writing the song, we had no clear vision of where it was going to go or finish and this freedom meant that we wrote without any boundaries which was a refreshing experience for us. Production-wise, this song was the one we experimented with the most in the studio as we wanted to continue this idea of ‘no boundaries’ – there was no sound or idea that we didn’t entertain. The whirling background in the first verse was created by chopping up and manipulating already recorded parts of the song and running them through an ancient Roland Chorus Echo. Vocally, we played around the most with this track, from creepy laughing to reversing background whispers, as well as adding in a couple of lyrical parts that didn’t exist on the track previously. We threw everything at the wall for this one in order to maximise that feeling of chaos, and we think it turned out pretty well.
Gaygirl’s EP ‘PLEASUREHEAD’ is out now.