Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost: exclusive album stream

Listen to the San Francisco duo's second LP and tell us what you think

When Girls emerged a couple of years back, their fondness for waxing
lyrical about chemicals – plus a truly couldn't-make-it-up
backstory – seemed to get in the way of the fact that their debut (called simply Album) was full of great songs. True, they built up a small but
dedicated fanbase hooked on their acid-fried, lovelorn pop
songs, but it seemed as if just as many were keen to dismiss the band
as druggy chancers. Between albums, however, there appears to have been something of a sea change – early reviews by Spin and NME suggest Father, Son, Holy Ghost to be a masterpiece. Is it?

On first impressions, there's nothing as immediate as, say, Lust for Life or even as fully realised as Hellhole Ratrace – but then, that doesn't seem to be the point. Those who want simple three-minute pop songs with big choruses can look away now. If you're interested in exploring a series of fractured, outsider laments about lost love that seem to wander off in random directions whenever the hell they feel like it, then read on.

Take Just a Song, which barely does what it says on the tin – the band unafraid of leaving caverns of space before they get around to spinning a web of lo-fi folk. Or Forgiveness, perhaps the most stunning track. It spends nearly eight minutes barely breaking into a whisper as
Christopher Owens sings: "Nothing's gonna get any better/ If you don't have a little hope, if you don't have a little love … in your soul."

Then suddenly it explodes into Pink Floyd stadium riffs, before uniting the two wildly different sections for an explosive coda. Straight after, as if to prove Girls can do proper, well-honed pop songs, comes Love Like A River – a shamelessly retro slice of 60s soul right down to the gospel singers and lyrics about Owens's love being "like a river, she just keeps on rolling along".

This mix of big-hearted pop melodies with half-formed arrangements, lo-fi production and a reluctance to settle on a specific sound recalls Big Star's Third/Sister Lovers. There will be reviews in the Guardian and Observer over the coming week, but for now we're officially declaring it a "grower" – let us know what you think in the comments section below.

• Father, Son, Holy Ghost is due on 12 September.

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Poliça - Give You the Ghost: exclusive album stream

They're Jay-Z's favourite indie band but are they yours? Let us know what you make of this debut album of leftfield R&B

24, Apr, 2012 @2:19 PM

Article image
Björk: bastards – exclusive album stream

The singer has let the likes of Death Grips and Omar Souleyman loose on her Biophilia album – be among the first to hear the results on this new collection of remixes

Guardian music

12, Nov, 2012 @4:53 PM

Article image
Low – C'mon: exclusive album stream

Listen to the Minnesota trio's ninth album – their first record in four years

01, Apr, 2011 @12:06 PM

Article image
Mogwai - Rave Tapes: Exclusive album stream

Stuart Braithwaite introduces the latest Mogwai album, which you can listen to for free with our stream! Let us know what you think ...

14, Jan, 2014 @1:29 PM

Article image
Edwyn Collins: Understated – exclusive album stream

On sparkling musical form despite not having yet fully recovered from his brain haemorrhages, Edwyn Collins has created his eighth solo album. Listen here and let us know your thoughts

18, Mar, 2013 @5:14 PM

Article image
Pixies – Indie Cindy: Exclusive album stream
Have a listen to the Pixies fifth album – their first in 23 years – and let us know your thoughts

Guardian music

21, Apr, 2014 @10:00 AM

Article image
Trailer Trash Tracys - Ester: exclusive album stream

Kickstart 2012 by listening to Trailer Trash Tracys' dreamy debut

03, Jan, 2012 @4:04 PM

Article image
Zola Jesus – Conatus: exclusive album stream

Nika Roza Danilova talks us through her new album, which you can listen to for free

22, Sep, 2011 @11:08 AM

Article image
Sigur Rós - Valtari: exclusive album stream

Be among the first to hear the new album from Sigur Rós, Valtari, and tell us what you think in the comments below

21, May, 2012 @1:40 PM

Article image
Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse: exclusive album stream

Listen to Frightened Rabbit's excellent fourth album and let us know your thoughts

28, Jan, 2013 @9:00 AM