Album #56: Nova Twins – Who Are the Girls?

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: London, England
  • Label: 333 Wreckords
  • Best Track: Devil’s Face

Fitting that I should come to this one on International Women’s Day. On this confrontational and socially aware debut, we have a band that are about as fiercely feminine and proud of it as it gets.

To answer the question posed by the album title, Nova Twins are Amy Love and Georgia South, two childhood friends who have been making an almighty din since 2014, and have finally got around to releasing a full-length album. Their sound is a mishmash of just about everything that’s noisy and in your face – there are elements of mainstream pop in the veins of Lady Gaga, but spiced up with the bass-heavy electronica of The Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers, together with the aggressive rap-rock of Rage Against the Machine.

And I love it. The songs brim with anger and attitude, even if it’s not always so obvious to whom their rage is being directed. ‘Bullet’ quite obviously takes aim at wolf-whistling and other sexual harassment, but often the aggressive lyrics are just there to work alongside the booming basslines and shredding guitars to project a message of “we’re here and you won’t shut us up”.

‘Devil’s Face’ is perhaps the best example of that, and a personal favourite, although ‘Lose Your Head’ is probably the heaviest cut on the album. I also really like the ones like ‘Vortex’ and ‘Undertaker’ that start off like an semi-ordinary pop song and gradually become an unapologetic assault on the eardrums as they go on.

I know I shouldn’t get too hung up on the charts, but it depresses the hell out of me to see no sign of Who Are the Girls? in this week’s UK Top 100 albums. Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran’s Divide is still in the top 20 three years on from its release, and the likes of Taylor Swift’s 1989 and Adele’s 25 are still in there. Nothing against any of these artists in particular, but seriously, you could switch on any FM radio stations and probably hear a song from all three of those albums within two or three hours. Who is still discovering these artists in such numbers as to keep the likes of Nova Twins and Soccer Mommy out the top 100 on the week their albums are released? And that’s without even mentioning that there are THREE albums in there from Oasis – a band who split up more than a decade ago.

Ah well, it’s their loss. Who Are the Girls? is an essential listen. Fresh to the point of being futuristic, it feels like it could really start something big.

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