Track-by-Track Stories Behind Girls’ Father, Son, Holy Ghost

09/21/2011 4:21 PM |


As for the musical elements folded into Father, Son, Holy Ghost, the latest output from the Christopher Owens-led duo Girls, our own Jeff Klingman writes, “Owens is a bonafide hippie who effortlessly incorporates post-hippie genres like power-pop, new wave, AM radio bubblegum, power ballads.” There aren’t a lot of objections to the album in the critic-blogger circles, but if there are, it’s often a lament of the band’s staunch revivalism. But it’s not like Owens is trying to hide it. “The only reason I write songs is to copy guys I like,” he tells The Atlantic. “I don’t want to make anything new here, I just want to be part of something I really like.”

As for the album’s subject matter, well, Owens isn’t exactly shy about that either. To quote Jeff, the new album, like the one before it, and the one before that, is a “long, wandering set about love lost, love wanted, love denied. ‘Well, who cares about love?’ [Ownes] bluffs to Alex, an unavailable, black-haired beauty who’s got an anthem of longing named for her. It’s the least convincing line in a record of intense conviction, gentle earnestness.”

As if in a constant state of surrender to the topic, Owens shared a track-by-track breakdown of the stories and thoughts behind the record during The Atlantic‘s interview with him. Sure enough, love came up more often than not. You should really read the whole thing here, as Owens’ tragic yet strangely optimistic tales of a mother’s unconditional love, Bible verses, girls he’s never talked to, and three in particular that he has — the ex that six-minute epic “Vomit” revolves around, an ode to his current girlfriend in “Magic,” and an intimate confession to “Jamie Marie” — make the album hit that much harder.