Review: TV Girl – Lonely Women EP

9 Aug

TV Girl Lonely Women

Loneliness, depression, feelings of worthlessness; these subjects are often dealt with in music, usually communicated by a heartfelt or stirring ballad, an emotionally overwrought tune dripping in self indulgence and melodramatic melancholia. It needn’t be this way though as evidenced in TV Girl’s third EP, Lonely Women, five tracks full of wry humour and warmth for their subjects.

The EP feels a little Ben Folds-ian in nature (but better) with lyrics that are whimsical but real, observational, humorous but touching. You may recall back in 2009/10 Folds worked with author Nick Hornby, releasing an album together, Lonely Avenue, that was full of sardonic observations of life and the world around them. Had Folds chosen to work with someone like Dave Eggers and focus on women of the world instead of ‘avenues’, then thrown in some fuzzy guitars and hip-hop infused beats, then he may well have come up with something closer to the Lonely Women EP.

Each of the five tracks introduces us to a different lonely woman and their various idiosyncrasies and foibles. Lead single “She Smokes In Bed” is a fantastically upbeat piece of throwback indie-pop, just perfect for summer with its lo-fi sounds. It sounds so upbeat and even jolly that chances are you may miss the fact that the focus of its narrative, Mary, is about to inadvertently set fire to her house due to the lack of self regard she has for herself.

“Laura” sounds like it is about a loved one which is kind of true, but this Laura is an object of affection that has been appreciated from afar. It was written for and about late singer Laura Nyro, whose track “Lonely Women” also provided the name of the EP. It too is an upbeat and summery affair and possibly the most catchy and accessible of all five tracks, with a danceable hip-hop style beat entwined with cascading piano melodies and twinkling xylophonic sounds. After such a vibrant and bright start, the tone does shift slightly thereon in.

“My Girlfriend” might the most understatedly poignant, subtle and deceptively beautiful track of the year. Telling the tale of a girlfriend overwhelmed by depression from the point of view of her boyfriend and the eggshells he walks around on. Musically the tone is more downbeat than predecessors, “She Smokes In Bed” and “Laura””, but it’s all relative. The beat skips along at a reasonable rate while the sounds of a glockenspiel dance around above it, all while the narrator conveys affection and love for his afflicted partner. Even though she always leaves a mess, comes home drunk or just doesn’t bother to get dressed during the day. The narrative is so simple but utterly real and evocative, the images of the scenarios come so readily and easily that it’s almost like reading a book. The tune itself is soft, warm and manages to touch the listener, bring a tear to the eye and chuckle to your lips.

“Easier to Cry” picks the pace up a little more but the narrative tone shifts down further still, moving from depression to suicide considering overwhelming sense of loneliness. That the duo are able to wrap such a dark package up in such bright and catchy paper without ever losing the song’s meaning and depth is testament to their evolving and improving songwriting.

The EP closes with “Melanie”, a track about a girl we have all known or known of. The ‘life and soul’ as it were but whose effervescent bubbliness and willingness to live and love everything and everyone is born from a crippling insecurity.

The EP sounds fantastic, as have all TV Girl EPs so far, and they really are an act that are growing and improving with every release. With Lonely Women TV Girl has given us a gloriously sardonic and enjoyable look at the darker side of human emotion that they have deftly crafted with humanity and affection, and there isn’t an ounce of melodrama to be found anywhere.

The ‘Lonely Women’ EP is out now and can be bought from theTV Girl Bandcamp page. You can even get it on a limited edition (only 150) cassette if you so wish as well as picking up a very smart looking t-shirt as well.

Stalk TV Girl: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

One Response to “Review: TV Girl – Lonely Women EP”

  1. Name not supplied November 1, 2013 at 09:43 #

    How sad 😦 kinda inappropriately jolly too! Like having a clown tell you it’s terminal

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