When Lauran Hibberd is at her best, she’s unbeatable
Vicky Greer
13:01 28th July 2021

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It’s pretty bold to start an EP with a song called ‘Bleugh’, but then again, Lauran Hibberd isn’t one to beat around the bush. Since her last EP in 2019, she’s been establishing herself as a key figure in the UK live music scene, appearing in as many independent venues and festival line-ups as is humanly possible. Now, she’s pulling together her recent work into the upcoming Goober EP.

‘Bleugh’ was an excellent choice to open the EP, starting as she means to go on with unforgettable choruses. Hibberd has a real knack for telling stories in her songs, refusing to hide behind ambiguous lyrics so that she can tell you exactly what’s going on. Her music is narrative-driven: not in the sense of reading a story, more like catching up with an old friend. It opens Goober with that self-deprecating, sharp-witted charm that everyone loves to hear from her.

Hibberd’s collaboration with previous tour mate Lydia Night of The Regrettes 'How Am I Still Alive?' stands out as not only the best song on the EP, but as a favourite song of the year. They’re a perfect duo; voices complementing each other perfectly with the ability to convey a real sense of fun with razor-sharp lyrics. Lines like “I’m getting really good at talking to myself/ I kinda noticed you were fucking someone else” are simple but gutsy, and their bubblegum vocals pair beautifully with crunchy guitar-fuelled choruses.

Most of the EP stays close to Hibberd’s own brand of ‘slacker-pop’, but when we reach ‘Boy Bye’ and ‘Old Nudes’, her vibrant choruses stray towards grungy, nostalgic sounds that you can aggressively sing along to into a hairbrush. She’s had this kind of style in previous releases, but on Goober it feels more cohesive. Paired with lines like “if I could only pull you out a strand at a time” or “missed you like my last payment of rent”, Hibberd has a winning formula that shows her off at her best.

There are some massive songs on Goober that are going to be amazing to experience once Lauran Hibberd can get back on stage again. The only setback is that they don’t always flow together. Although the individual tracks of the EP stand strong, there’s a certain inconsistency in the tone that holds Goober back from being a stellar body of work. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – there are amazing singles on here that will brighten up any playlist, but they eclipse tracks towards the end like ‘Crush’ and ‘You Never Looked So Cool’. But when Lauran Hibberd is at her best, she’s unbeatable.

Goober EP arrives 30 July via eOne Music UK.

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Photo: Press