A duo born out of happenstance, London-based band Girlhood have had a rather odd journey releasing their self-titled debut album, but it’s that spontaneity and space for growth that bred such a colorful collection of songs.
It was a voice in the wind that started the band. A hum from band mate Tessa Cavanna reached the ears of Christian Pinchbeck‘s one east London night. Pinchbeck flagged Cavanna down and persuaded her to record a song that night. In the three years since then, the two have found they mesh well musically, pulling from each other and encouraging each’s creativity and perspective.
With solo projects and general life in between, ‘Girlhood’ formed after the pair reunited in late 2019 to focus on making music again. What resulted is a jazzy, fun, free-flowing album that pulsates and blooms like a flower opening and turning toward the sun.
The more the pair worked on their album, the more a concept formed. Cavanna’s lyrics became more focused on the the multitudes of womanhood. Concepts of love and compassion weave throughout the entire album connecting ideas and thoughts with an overlying sentiment of a need for openness and understanding.
”We are all very different superficially but our need to be loved, heard and understood is universal,” says Cavanna. “This is a new era of transparency and honesty. There is a call to say what we think and how the world makes us feel, and I believe this is a conversation we can all have together as members of the same human family. So, I’ll leave it there… I want us all to see the love we need and be aware of how to share that love with others.”
Musically, the album dances like liquid smoke, pulling from soul, jazz, early hip hop and 90s neo-soul. Reminiscent of the Fugees and others like them, Cavanna’s voice is sometimes playful, other times strong as she finds the groove of each song, placing herself delicately in the pocket of each hook.
Always reflective, never jaded, ‘Girlhood’ explores simple themes that when stretched across a grander landscape, become more intricate. It’s the intertwining of natural growth and exterior catalysts.
Words: Patti Sanchez