Girlpool

What Chaos Is Imaginary

[ANTI-; 2019]

Rating: 3.5/5

From the beginning, Cleo Tucker’s and Harmony Tividad’s mutualism has been at the fore of Girlpool’s music. The L.A.-based duo would either sing in featherweight, too-pure-for-this-world harmonies or in frantic shout-sung mania, their voices in both cases sounding so simpatico that it was nearly impossible to distinguish one singer from the other. And though they had met mere months before releasing their 2014 self-titled debut, the Girlpool sound they established on that EP was one that suggested at least a decade of airtight camaraderie.
On What Chaos Is Imaginary, the group’s latest outing and follow up to 2017’s Powerplant, that synergy is still apparent, galvanized here by the same fervor and leavened by the same delicacy that informed Girlpool’s first three releases. There’s the late-90s alternative rock verve of “Hire,” which ardor reaches a fever pitch during Tucker’s grungy shout in the song’s second half. Conversely, though, Tividad will often provide a softer counterpoint to her bandmate’s more truculent vocal style, as in the timid falsetto on “Hoax and the Shrine.” What Chaos paints the band as more of a yin and yang, two disparate but complementary figures, than the mirror images they seemed to be on Girlpool’s older material.
What Chaos Is Imaginary by girlpool
The most obvious change in the group’s sound is Tucker’s voice, now a sturdy tenor reminiscent of Jim Reid that’s equally capable of tough standoffishness and vulnerable rumination. The former quality shines through on tracks like album opener “Lucy’s,” as he sharply enunciates each

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