Words by Ed King / Pics by Ben Roberts @benrobertsart
27th April sees Tri-Tone release Arrive Alone, Leave Alone EP – the latest unashamed disco pop proffering from the Manchester four piece, Girl Friend.
Forming in 2014, Girl Friend (as in your friend who’s a girl – not the early 90’s Aussie quintet) are an obvious throwback; an homage to all the teardrops on the dance floor at Club Tropicana, spilled by west end girls and east end boys. But there’s an edge, as with the decade itself; the sometimes sinister side of the 80’s is carefully sewn into the upfront pop production.
Disguised destruction filter the lyrics, hidden behind sore flashbacks of white suits and mirror balls, with the EP’s lead single, ‘You Lead the Way’, being a clandestine statement of sexual self abuse – deftly delivered by the manipulatively sleek vocals of lead singer, Amory. “All I want to do is to give in to what you want to,” well, quite.
‘Style and Substance’ gives more space to Amory’s vocals, as the pretty boy front man describes “waking up in stages” to “another day pretending to be someone I am not,” watching the song’s titular cultural bedrocks disappear into the sea. And no, no one is innocent.
Before the slow disco beat of ‘Stop’, the final track on Arrive Alone, Leave Alone EP, walk us through a whispering lament – building to a rich barrage of synthesised melodies that would have nestled comfortably in between the film soundtracks for Drive and Manhunter.
In fact, the only weak side of this four track EP is the first one you come to, ‘Monte Carlo’ – laced with somewhat teenage declarations such as “in Monte Carlo you’ll never be alone” and “I don’t want to dance with another.” Perhaps I’m not getting it, but if tracks two, three and four are a controlled diet of sex, cocaine & Quaaludes, the opener is a Pontiac Firebird commercial.
Girl Friend have just completed a UK tour, building up some momentum for the release of Arrive Alone, Leave Alone EP – ending with a launch party at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston. Birmingham Review missed their gig at the Sunflower Lounge on 20th April, but will be keeping an eye out for when they return.
And with the release of their curiously addictive Arrive Alone, Leave Alone EP (even with the less addictive ‘Monte Carlo’) and a festival bill summer catering for borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties (thank you Mr Murphy) we don’t expect Girl Friend to be strangers for long. If they can pull this off live…
‘You Lead the Way’ – Girl Friend
Arrive Alone, Leave Alone EP by Girl Friend is out on general release from 27th April 2015 – through Tri-Tone.
For more on Girl Friend, including online purchase points, visit http://www.girlfriendband.com/
For more from Tri-Tone, visit http://www.tri-tone.co.uk/