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Girls – Broken Dreams Club EP

on November 19, 2010, 7:59am
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When Girls frontman Christopher Owens announced the Broken Dreams Club EP, he did so with an informal handwritten letter in lieu of a traditional press release. Owens wrote the letter to not only declare Broken Dreams Club as a “letter of intent” and a “snapshot of the horizon” both also to thank the fans for their support. Specifically, without the money earned from a highly successful year of touring to a massive wave of positive buzz, Broken Dreams Club and what comes next would not be possible in their intended forms because the new instruments and musicians would have been too expensive.

Broken Dreams Club opens to three and a half minutes of charming nostalgia with “Thee Oh So Protective One”. Its late 50’s rock ballad on a tropical vacation sound evokes imagined memories of sharing a malt with one’s best gal while listening to the jukebox at Chok’lit Shoppe. “Heartbreaker” lives up to its namesake, with a deceptively exuberant chord progression paired with some of Owens’ best forlorn songwriting. Melancholy rarely sounds this sunny.

The lush production of Broken Dreams Club especially shines on the title track and “Alright”. On “Broken Dreams Club”, the slide of the pedal steel guitar, the swirl of a Hammond and the crispness of Owens despondency make the slow-burning alt-country number all the more poignant. “Alright” is the most surprising song on the EP, with its unconventional structure blending free jazz and experimental rock guitar representing riveting new territory that will hopefully be explored in the future.

This fuller production on Broken Dreams Club is more akin to a new member of the band rounding out the band to complete its sound, rather than a mere polishing. “Substance” returns Broken Dreams Club to the world of dejected pop; this time in the form of a pleasantly dreamy surf rocker. The country-flavored post-rock buildup on the nearly eight minute closer “Carolina” is another captivating promise of things to come. Broken Dreams Club may only be an EP, but if it’s any indication of the future of the band, then Girls will sophomore soar, rather than slump.

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