Girli - Damsel In Distress
London-born songstress GIRLI’s latest EP, ‘Damsel in Distress’, has got to be one of my favourite pop records I’ve heard this year. Milly Toomey’s unique style, powerhouse vocals and addictive beats all play a part in this, but it's her lyrics that steal the show for me. Speaking about the release, GIRLI said “Each song represents something different I’ve battled; body dysmorphia, mental health issues, unrequited and difficult love, bad friendships.” Despite the challenging nature of these subject matters, Toomey communicates them with eloquence that beautifully translates in her music.
The EP opens with ‘More Than a Friend’, a sensual, bisexual anthem that is by far my favourite track; you will just want to sing the thundering chorus at the top of your lungs. Next is ‘Dysmorphia’, a bassy, synth-heavy track that communicates the artist’s struggle with body dysmorphia in such simple but effective terms; as someone who struggles with the condition, I’ve never quite heard it captured so well in lyrics.
The third track is ‘Ricochet’, a fiery, percussive representation of toxic love, the echoey vocals of which will ricochet off your brain long after listening. ‘Ruthless’ starts off with stripped back guitar strumming, the surprise of the hard-hitting chorus perfectly portraying the song’s message of how ill treatment hardens your heart’s exterior. The record ends with the melodic ‘I Don’t Like Myself’, an exploration of low self esteem that is a perfect final message for an EP with the purpose of showing Toomey’s more vulnerable side.
One of my favourite things about the EP is the title and GIRLI’s explanation of it: “I decided to take the old and sexist term of ‘Damsel in Distress’, an old character trope of a woman needing saving by a man, and turn it on its head. Yes, I’m struggling with some stuff and yes I need help, but I’m gonna save myself. I’m saving myself from the burning tower, and these songs are my version of healing and fighting my way out of the shit.” For me, Toomey has perfectly captured what it is to be a modern woman in ‘Damsel in Distress’, the relatable nature of which just makes me love the record more.
‘Damsel in Distress’ is out now and Girli plays The Cluny on 25th November.