Tracked in a single day with Dan Carey, it's another big step for the genre-free Goats
Corey Keepence
15:26 14th December 2020

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Peckham-based progressives Goat Girl have been patiently waiting for the right time to release their sophomore album, and with the pandemic forcing the whole industry to a grinding halt, that moment is now confirmed to be January 29 2021. We caught up with the group to discuss the road to On All Fours.

As you might imagine, all four members of Goat Girl have been surrounded by music their whole lives. "Music was a big part of my life from an early age" says lead vocalist Lottie Cream, "I was taught the violin from the age of four...it’s been a running theme in my family to learn a string instrument, so I continued that". Lottie soon got bored of the limitations of violin though, wanting "to do something a bit more creative". She cites her first guitar teacher as a key figure for "pushing me into the direction of song-writing, which was more applicable to what I wanted from music than for to be, for example, a virtuoso guitar player". 

Drummer Rosy Bones also had similar experiences with various instruments from a young age, but it was not until the start of their teenage years - when they had drum lessons at school - that they found an instrument that "stuck with me and felt naturally inviting to learn". "I came into knowing how to play drums much more when I started playing with other people and in bands" Rosy adds. 

Bassist Holly, the band’s most recent addition, reminisces about her "bizarre drunk guitar teacher. "He carried around a pet tarantula!" she remembers. 

Whilst categorised by many as post-punk, it's a little blasé to label Goat Girl too closely: there was already a diverse collection of material before On All Fours, and with this new record, Goat Girl have set new parameters. More of their energy is focused on synths as the band move forward, and those electronic sounds have made it even more difficult to confidently place them into one genre...not that they'd want labelling at all. 

The band members also took a new approach to songwriting this time round: by swapping instruments around. "We weren’t necessarily as precious about what it was we would be playing, it was more just trying to be as creative as possible" Lottie says of this approach. That extra ounce of creativity is evident, she believes, in the songs due to "playing with an instrument we weren’t that familiar with - and playing things the other person wouldn’t normally play". 

It was interesting, the band say, to "hear how everyone interpreted the different instruments and everyone’s interpretation on where they should sit in the song". Lyrics, however, were the one aspect that were not as open to group collaboration, with Lottie feeling them to be "kind of a personal thing that you want to do on your own". 

On All Fours is the second album of two produced by Dan Carey, who has also collaborated with the likes of black midi, Fontaines D.C. and Kae Tempest, both through his own work and as co-founder of cult label Speedy Wunderground. Dan’s production approach follows a principle that recordings are like a piece of fruit, and too many takes can spoil it. Incredibly, that means that the Goats managed to track all the songs on their new album in a single day, and from start to finish. This was intentional. "Every song flowed into each other and the vibe never dropped" they said. "It was important that we weren’t too precious about things" Holly adds. Continuing to do new takes inevitably results in "feeling down and losing enthusiasm and energy" she points out. 

There was time, at least, between the initial conceptualisation of the songs on On All Fours to their re-recording. Initial demos were laid down through "Logic Pro and a Korg Minilogue synth", and those patches were eventually "enhanced further with Dan’s million-zillion-pound Moog One Synthesiser". "While the songs were mostly done before we went into the studio, we focused a lot on overdubbing and the different textures and sounds that you might not instantly hear but definitely are there, and make certain moments really pop. That was really fun and collaborative". 

Goat Girl have also taken on a more collaborative approach when it comes to artwork. Lottie’s boyfriend and his brother designed the chaotic cover and "became part of the whole experience, journey and process. They were painting the art as the album was taking shape". The artwork also incorporates "some of the imagery that the lyrics touch on" they add.

"We’ve always kind of had the thing of 'we’re just doing what we want to do' and if people like it, they like it, if they don’t, they don’t" Rosy tells us. "For this album, we’ve taken quite a lot of control over the press shots and the videos, and we involved our family a lot. It feels like a real collective effort." 

On all Fours arrives 29 January via Rough Trade Records. 

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