Goat Girl share “Badibaba,” tell us about the influences behind upcoming album
Goat Girl release their anticipated second album On All Fours next week, and have just shared one last single before the whole thing drops. “'Badibaba' is a song about environmental catastrophe and the pessimism and self-destruction that this causes to the human spirit,” says guitarist/vocalist L.E.D., while Clottie Cream (who also plays guitar and sings) adds, “It touches on how the earth’s existence is controlled by exploitative systems, and the feeling of existential helplessness this induces." The song itself is an earworm, with lush harmonies intertwining with dense layers of guitar and keyboards. You can watch the video below.
Once again working with producer Dan Carey (Kae Tempest, Black Midi), On All Fours finds the band expanding their palette of sounds and adding more keyboards and electronic elements. We asked Goat Girl for a playlist of songs that influenced the record and their list includes tracks by Little Simz, Sault, Broadcast, Metronomy, Mica Levi, KOKOKO!, Grizzly Bear and more. Check that out, complete with commentary from the band, below.
In other news, Goat Girl have announced UK tour dates for the fall, which hopefully will happen. Those are listed below.
SONGS THAT INFLUENCED GOAT GIRL'S ON ALL FOURS
Sault - "Living in America"
Ellie: Talking about the critical gun problem in America, pasted against a brilliant bass/drum groove, with catchy melodies, 'Living in America' is inspiring because it talks about heavy topics, but their sound is light, and even dance-worthy. Lyrically this song is brilliant, clever and revealing of the current state of affairs: 'They say it's the land of the free, everyone has a gun, counting bullets like they're haribos'.
Little Simz - "Selfish"
Ellie: This song speaks for itself - it's such a banger. Nearly every other phrase is a piece of advice or a philosophical viewpoint, which seems to have come from Simz’s tackling of her own struggles and life experience. “I need more self-loving”, exposes that as well as being strong, she is also vulnerable, and doesn’t seem to be ashamed to show this across the whole of Grey Area, perhaps showing that part of strength, is also to be vulnerable. I feel like this kind of lyric openness is also present in On All Fours. Simz touches on being a woman of colour, as well as the fact that she has worked her way up to becoming a successful artist, as opposed to someone who has inherited a position of power, which is all super inspiring. Not to mention the emotionally unbolted, catchy hook sung Cleo Sol.
Beach Fossils - "Rise"
Ellie: I've loved Beach Fossils since I was about 14; their washed out dream pop, and single note-guitar lines have definitely influenced my own playing. "Rise" is off of their most recent album Somersault, and sees the band bravely venture into an entirely different soundscape to their characteristic indie guitar sound, it lies much closer to jazz or R&B. I found this act of expanding genres so freeing at the time, and I thought to myself that there's no need to box ourselves in stylistically. We all love such different music, and we should use our influences in our playing and writing without worry!
Broadcast - "Black Cat"
Holly: Broadcast's instantly recognisable use of scratchy analogue synth sounds was a pretty big influence on our own exploration of synthesizers and electronics. From the jittery modular synth loops on 'Closing In' to the lead line on 'Where Do We Go From Here?', we were drawn to the lo-fi sound that they've become synonymous with. This track is a personal favourite of mine. I love the distant guitars, unpredictably crackling synths and Trish Keenan's mysterious yet relatable lyrics, particularly the line "awkwardness happening to someone you love".
Mica Levi - "Love"
Holly: This stunning track from Mica Levi's soundtrack to Under The Skin reminds me of two heartbroken whales separated by a vast mass of ocean, longing to see each other again. The layers upon layers of strings create a disorientating, seasick sensation that is both beautiful and slightly maddening. The ending of our track "Jazz (In The Supermarket)" has a similar feel. Lottie's dad is an incredible viola player and he layered up some parts, which were all bowed slightly differently to create an uncanny kind of movement. You can really lose yourself in it.
KOKOKO! - "Likolo"
Holly: All of us including Dan (Carey) were listening to a lot of KOKOKO! around the time of recording and we were lucky enough to play with them at End of the Road Festival (better times)! They build a lot of their own instruments at their workshop in Kinshasa and create some amazing sounds. We didn't build our own instruments but we did experiment a lot with percussion. Dan shoved some boxes of percussion in the middle of the room and asked just to grab something and play along to a track spontaneously together. It was a quickfire process, which allowed us to think outside the box without second guessing. Lottie used a mandolin as percussion on "Jazz (In The Supermarket)" and I couldn't imagine the track without it. Equally the sellotape solo on "P.T.S.Tea" is a pretty memorable moment.
Crumb - "Locket"
Holly: We're big fans of Crumb and this track in particular never gets old for me. I love everything about it from the groove-driven bass to the subtle jazz influences, transportive vocals and psychedelic production. It feels like a real journey and masterfully pulls off so many twists and turns in genre and style without overstepping the mark. It's eclectic sonic palette contrasts with an underlying pop sensibility, which I think is what we were trying to achieve with On All Fours.
Metronomy - "You Could Easily Have Me"
Lottie: Joe Mount has always been a big inspiration for me, ever since i heard Metronomy’s first album “Pip Paine (pay the £5000 you owe)”. I just love all the sounds and samples he uses on this album that have this really organic and authentic feel to them. Especially on this song, it sounds like for the main drum beat he's recorded himself kicking a soggy cardboard box with a steel toe cap or something…it sounds so punchy and weird. That was definitely the sound i had in mind when writing my guitar part at the end of "P.T.S.Tea," it needed a similar abrasiveness.
Blonde Redhead - "No More Honey"
Lottie : This song was probably my anthem in the period of writing for On All Fours, i couldn't and still can't get enough of it. I love the swirling distorted guitar and bass textures that come in at the choruses, its so harsh and doomy but it's also mixed with this really delicate vocal that weaves in and out. In retrospect i can definitely hear this song in moments of our album, especially at the end of "Badidibaba" and "Jazz (in the Supermarket)."
Grizzly Bear - "Four Cypresses"
Lottie: This song is beautiful from start to finish, but a bit that gets me so excited is this really dreamy instrumental section between the guitars that are strung out to make them sound almost like these ethereal chimes. This really inspired a lot of the effects and soundscapes I created with my guitar on the album, especially in the recording process with songs like "Pest" and the slide guitar on "Closing In." Also the way that the guitars on this song are panned in that moment...it's like this crazy call and response that's happening that really influenced how i wanted mine and Ellie's guitars to relate to one another. A big moment where this happens on the album is in the instrumental breaks from the verses on "P.T.S.Tea," we thought a lot about how the different chords we were playing accentuated one another's, and also the placements of them, so that each fell after the others to have this cascading feel.
Here's a playlist with all the songs:
Goat Girl - 2021 UK Tour Dates
9/14 - Bristol, UK @ Trinity
9/15 - London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall
9/16 - Birmingham, UK @ Mama Roux’s
9/18 - Dublin, IE @ Whelan’s
9/20 - Liverpool, UK @ Phase One
09/21 - Glasgow, SC @ SWG3 Warehouse
9/22 - Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
9/24 - Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
9/25 - Southampton, UK @ The Loft