“The last year’s been fucking up and down. You get some really exciting stuff and then it disappears. It’s a rollercoaster, but super fun” explains Christian, one half of London’s dynamic duo Girlhood.
The pair have just played the first of two nights in the capital. Tonight’s show at The Social was put on by Radio 1 DJ and tastemaker Huw Stephens, tomorrow’s at The Lexington for music website The Line Of Best Fit; they have a lot of big fans already, yet vocalist Tessa is still pinching herself: “It doesn’t really feel real, I still don’t believe it’s real. I feel like someone’s hacked into Spotify somehow and made a Girlhood account and I’m like nah!” she laughs.
The duo bizarrely met when Christian was living on a boat and noticed Tessa singing as she walked past the canal. He invited her onboard, played her some of his beats and the pair started to make music together; the type that feels like a throwback and fresh in equal doses. When the first seconds of their first EP Girlhood, Vol.1 crackle like a well-used record, you know they’re onto something authentic. The five track debut contains elements of trip-hop, 90s R&B, jazz and soul or as Tessa puts it “meander music”. There’s end-of-house-party vibes and woozy vocals on ‘My Boy’, glitchy saxophone on ‘Together’ and a contorted sample from 70s jazz musician John Dankworth (since used on Gorillaz’s ‘Rock The House’) on attitude-driven ‘Baby Teeth’.
At their gigs, Christian’s impressive ability to jump between samples and live piano playing is matched by Tessa’s powerful vocals, backed by a second singer who complements the duo. They have the class of a late night jazz show juxtaposed with the attitude of a sweaty club night as Tessa gesturing all her lyrics, grimacing every time she mentions downing alcohol in ‘Bad Decisions’. Spending the next few months finishing off an album and an appearance at the must-play Great Escape festival, Girlhood are ones to keep an eye on in 2018.
For fans of: The Avalanches, Moby, Smoke City
Get ahead of everyone else and listen to the rest of our Eyes On 2018 long list playlist here.