Indie has remained pretty staid over the last decade – one noticeable change, however, has been an influx of girl or girl-fronted groups. Yet like their pop counterparts, these women have generally struggled to penetrate the mainstream. Could Girl Ray be a rare success story? There’s certainly lots to love about the teen trio – starting with Poppy Hankin’s vocals. Her singing style brings together mannered Englishness, a low, conversational Nicoesque tone and a breathy sweetness, reminiscent of Harriet Wheeler; it’s both a melting pot of allusions and exactly how you’d expect a middle-class London girl to sound. It accompanies the band’s ramshackle take on 70s soft rock (Todd Rundgren’s I Saw the Light was apparently a reference point) that manages, at first, to ape the genre’s hook-heavy tendencies. Yet as the record progresses, things get looser, more noodly and less interesting. Earl Grey may not be enough of a hit parade for this precocious outfit to break through, but Girl Ray are certainly ones to watch.
Rachel Aroesti is a writer specialising in pop culture