For their second album ‘Powerplant’, Girlpool are building on their sound like never before.
Since meeting at a gig in LA as teenagers, Harmony Tivadad (bass and vocals) and Cleo Tucker (guitar and vocals) have been inseparable. Not afraid to be honest and bring some sass with their tunes, running through everything Girlpool do is a close friendship, which allows them to be open and honest in their songwriting.
Having spent time in New York before Harmony decided it wasn’t for her and moved to Philadelphia, they are now both back where it all began. She explains: “We’re back in LA now but we were living apart, and that was crazy. We were only two hours away by car so it wasn’t that difficult to see each other, but it was hard not to be able just to have Cleo call like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ and just head over and see them.”
For second album ‘Powerplant’, the duo elected to bring in some musicians who help flesh out their sound. Harmony wasn’t so sure initially, but Cleo soon convinced her. “Cleo had the idea that these songs we had written would sound really different and more lush if we fleshed them out. Even though they sounded good as a two-piece, we would feel more excited to bring more instrumentation to them. I was a little hesitant at first, but we talked more about it and agreed that it would be an exciting opportunity, and it’s been amazing and beautiful to watch.”
As it turns out, that was a great idea, giving ‘Powerplant’ a bigger, more muscular sound than debut album ‘Before The World Was Big’. The unison voices of Cleo and Harmony are still very much centre stage, however, and are what give Girlpool their unique sound. They sound bigger than ever before, but not necessarily more mature. “Calling something more mature can be a bit condescending to younger peoples’ work,” Harmony muses. “[Before The World Was Big’] was as right as it could be for that age, and this is as right as it can be for this age. I think that both have merit.”
The album came together in just two weeks, in what Harmony remembers as a creative and inspiring, if intense, time. “It was amazing. We recorded it with Drew Fisher, and he’s a pleasure to work with, down to earth and full of ideas. We really just buckled down and we were doing it for long days, and it just came together really, really quickly and beautifully.” Harmony reckons there is an air of catharsis and disillusionment hanging over ‘Powerplant’. At its heart, she believes it’s a record about looking at things a bit differently.
With their sights now set on the road, the band are touring through their home country in spring and will also have some European dates across the summer. Harmony’s excited to hit counties like Spain and Italy, which she hasn’t visited before, and also Britain’s own End of the Road. “We played there a few years ago, and that was amazing,” she reminisces. “That festival is beautiful.” Whatever fate awaits Cleo and Harmony, they will likely still be found hanging out at each others’ houses, playing music and getting creative.
Taken from the June issue of Dork, out now. Girlpool’s album ‘Powerplant’ is out now.