Brooklyn trio the Girls at Dawn play sweet and lazy ramshackle rock songs that inject punk primitivism with a healthy dose of morphine. It gives rise to a pretty but dreary sound on the debut 7-inch single "Never Enough" b/w "Every Night" (Hozac Records) and the subsequent 12-inch EP (Captured Tracks), inevitably drawing comparisons to acts ranging from the Shangri-Las to the Vivian Girls. And while it's true that their blend of lo-fi recordings and wistful narratives about love and change cover the same emotional real estate staked out by girl groups of the '60s, there's an indelible sense of discovery that surrounds the songs.
"Beyond being a girl band, we're just a band and don't really think about the fact that we're girls," says drummer and Atlanta expat Sarah Baldwin. "Most of the lyrics are hopeful, and a lot of our songs are about moving away from home and trying to prove to your ex or other people that you don't need to come back."
On stage, Baldwin, bass player Ana Economou and guitarist/vocalist Erin Campbell shed their gentle approach to wield a gutsier, rocking side of the band's persona. Baldwin is the former bass player for Atlanta bubblegum punk trio Knife and the 4th Ward Daggers, and the influence of sharp, fast punk and garage chops adds power to the Girls' otherwise sparse arrangements. And their experimental appearance (costumes, makeup and wigs) mirrors the band's penchant for producing psychedelic textures that transcend typical garage-rock fodder.
"I just think it's fun for people to watch, and it's definitely fun for us try out different things onstage and experiment with how the show looks," says Baldwin. Through it all, the Girls maintain their hazy melancholy and nostalgia, but those serious qualities never subtract from the fun.
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