Last summer, the San Francisco indie group Girls released a brilliant debut named Album, and I am glad to report they are already back with a new EP called Broken Dreams Club, out this Nov. 22nd. Frontman Christopher Owens is a fellow with more than a few broken dreams in his suitcase, having been raised a member of the Children of God cult. While he ran away at 16, half a lifetime ago, there is real sense of regret and loss and plain-old longing that pervade his songs. Take the opening lines of this track, for example:
"When I look in the mirror now/I'm not as young as I used to be/ I'm not quite as beautiful as/When you were next to me." Oof!
Owens has a great sense for the telling detail, and no limits in terms of self-criticism. For sheer emotional power, I'd say he ranks right up there with Elvis Costello, but Owens has an inward focus and a much lighter touch. He's drilling down into relationships fractured and other aspects of life that simply haven't turned out as he'd hoped. But he's pairing honest thoughts with bright melodies, optimism and hooks aplenty. So much so, that you'll be singing along in no time.
On iTunes: Girls / "Heartbreaker"