Our Girl’s Debut Album 'Stranger Today' is the Catharsis You’ve Been Waiting For
Those who are familiar with the band The Big Moon will have probably heard of Our
Girl- the brainchild of The Big Moon’s guitarist Soph Nathan. Our Girl have just
released their hotly anticipated debut album, Stranger Today, which has a slightly cathartic feel, due to its' documentation of the experiences and emotions one goes through in friendships and relationships.
There is an innocent air of dependence that Soph Nathan portrays in her lyrics, centring
around the happiness of having people in her life. “Being Around” feels like an ode to a best friend; “It makes a difference to my life, you being around”, whilst “I Really Like It” seems to be more of a romantic gesture as Nathan sings “I like being your main girl, only two is fine.”
Themes of paranoia and isolation come through during "In My Head" from lyrics like “I forget that other people haven’t been in my head, I get scared that other people haven’t been in my head.”; while Soph Nathan’s slightly breathy vocals occasionally feel detached from the instruments that build up around her to depict an almost angsty debate between being happy and pissed off. Whilst her vocals are usually airy and elegant, “Josephine” sees a deviation from this, featuring the repeated screeching of “you make my head hurt, affect my breathing.” The album has melodic shredding littered throughout, but in “Josephine” you are reminded that Soph Nathan is a guitarist first and foremost, as it culminates in a two-minute guitar solo.
“Level” shows a more melancholic side of Our Girl. It talks about the place in your head
where sometimes it seems easier to talk to strangers about our problems. “I’m afraid of the
feeling. Can I change my mind if I feel it?” The vulnerability turns into a purging of
frustration with thrashing guitars and layered vocals that cry “it’s never going to be better.”
The melancholia extends into lullaby form with songs “Sub Rosa” and “Heat”, while the
use of pedals gives the effect of strings dancing in the background. “Boring” stands as a brilliant close to Stranger Today, as it has another extended solo with a layering of a catchy riffs that makes you want to dance and shake off the darker mood cast by previous songs, yet there is also an intensity in it's thrashing guitars that creates a lingering mood from the album.
- Tyler Kelly