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Album Review
Broken Dreams Club EP

Broken Dreams Club EP
by Girls

Fantasy Trashcan

Review Date
1st December 2010
Reviewed by
Vincent Michaelsen

So it’s been a little over a year since the debut release by Girls, Album, and the San Franciscan pair have delivered another endearing record sure to break the hearts of some and woo those of others. Making good on their word to record polished tracks with real studio time, the EP is professional and gushing with the sound of California. In the way we like to romanticize the idea of songs being written in dingy and cramped apartments- composer bent broodingly over piano, cigarette hanging from the mouth and ink scrawled manuscript scatted chaotically about the floor or under whiskey bottle paper weights- Girls have painted an image of equal clarity but at the other end of the scale: the essence of young summer romance, the beach, the sun and the pain of a broken heart when one needs not to worry of anything else.

The opening track demonstrates immediate improvement on its predecessor. The percussion has a texture you can feel, the surf guitars are surfier and the vocals as close and present as a game of Chinese whispers. Owens’ draws deep from his 60’s influences as he croons out the first track, an ode to a girl overwhelmed by her own burdening emotions. “He’ll never know about the times that you cried in the movies/ Never know about the times that you cried to the music.” It’s a simple tragedy but one relatable to more than just teenage girls. The lyrics are simple yet effective as ever and for me it doesn’t get much better than those of the title track “I would like some peace of mind, I’ve got such a heavy heart…And I just don’t understand how the world keeps going nowhere.” Midway in the record, the E.P’s namesake marks the low-tide point of the melancholy and defines the feel of the record. From the guitar tremolo to the opening lyrics “It’s hard enough to be alone” to the heartbroken horn solo, this track sums up what the EP is about, it’s tender and loving yet broken and a very comforting listen.

While continuing in the tune of their previous release, Girls have shown clear intent to do more than play happy songs for sunny days. Packing a larger arsenal of sound in horns, keys and percussion, pressure has been taken off the guitars to create something original within the genre. Owens’ voice has also grown up, the punky edge of ‘Lust For Life’ has mostly disappeared, and we see the singer take on the seasoned heartbreaker persona of his predecessors Elvis Costello & Buddy Holly. Despite the heavy influences and genre clichés Girls may be associated with, the songs are genuine, Owens’ voice compelling and coming across as a natural product of what’s behind the music. Although this is clearly a heartbroken record, it is in no way an abandonment of love and will no doubt shape the summer of many young lovers.


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