Girlpool don’t fit into a box on ‘What Chaos Is Imaginary’. Jangly shoegaze on the melancholic but bright ‘Lucy’s’ is the album’s opener and sets a precedent for this diverse and cohesive record. This album crackles with fuzz and lo-fi vocals, particular stand-outs are the static and soft ‘Where You Sink’, and the hazy, layered dream pop of ‘Minute In Your Mind’, which makes you feel like you’re in a fantasy. The noises Girlpool create are perfect for conveying one’s own disruptive and complicated thoughts.
Cleo takes the lead on folk-rock ballad ‘Hire’. You can’t help but feel emotional listening to the transformation of their voice, singing with a new conviction. The track itself is upbeat with an attitude, where layered instrumentation makes everything feel bright. ‘Pretty’ is jangly folk-pop with an infectious beat and killer hook, and the anxious lyrics remind you of the sheer artistry the duo possess. ‘What Chaos Is Imaginary’ continues to impress on ‘Chemical Freeze’, which manages to blend triphop elements with folk in an innovative crossover. The highlight of the record is the title track, that explores absolutely beautiful and sparse baroque pop, fronted by Harmony’s delicate, goose-bump inducing vocal.
Girlpool have grown considerably as artists since their folk punk beginnings. Their previous effort ‘Powerplant’ was their most eclectic effort to date, but ‘What Chaos Is Imaginary’ firmly snatches that crown. Girlpool feel like a different band on this record, a band that’s thoroughly wiser and passionately conscientious.