JFLTI: Girlpool – Before the World was Big
Girlpool’s, Before the World was Big was one of my most anticipated LPs of this year and what better way to start my contribution than this album. The debut record from Cleo and Harmony is a tender, nostalgic look back intermingled with heartbreak, hopefulness and a charisma for life.First track Ideal World retains the social political mindedness that Girlpool are associated with but opens up a record that develops to show just how versatile and talented the duo are. Title track Before the World was Big is a gutsy 2 minute stripped back track, complete with a nursery rhyme-like round, summing up the sense of longing for when life was simple that the album yearns for. The album feels like a personal journey through the songwriter’s lives, felt most during tracks Cherry Picking and Magnifying Glass. Both tracks are fast, energetic and charismatic, offering a refreshing amount of self-assurance; Cleo and Harmony don’t talk shit and don’t take it from anyone else. The latter part of the album is slower and thoughtful, penultimate track Emily has a graceful chorus with subtle harmonies which make it feel like a letter to an old friend. For me, final track I like that you can see it brings together all the previous tracks and perfectly rounds off the album. The song, like the album is ambiguous and melancholy but with a sense of intention and wistfulness that makes Before the World was Big a relatable, considered and quite beautiful record.