The newest noise-pop and garage rock band to emerge blinking into the light of an Irish music scene already over-subscribed with similar bands, September Girls emerged from the ashes of the more colourful Talulah Does The Hula (and before that The Chalets). Initially releasing their music on 7” inch records and even limited number cassettes, it wouldn’t be too much of a push to deduce that this band embrace the DIY aesthetic. This carries over to their debut album. Recorded quickly over a number of sessions with friends and people who ‘got them’ and didn’t want to dilute what they were doing, this twelve track collection doesn’t overstay its welcome by a second. With only two of the songs clocking in over the four minute mark, Cursing The Sea is a concise and snappy collection of songs overflowing with influences and sound-a-like moments .
More musically aligned with Warpaint than the Bangles (although the band are huge fans) there are of course the ghosts of countless other bands in evidence and certain musical influences are up front and centre. But they don’t need to be mentioned. What is important is what they do with these all these influences, following the noise-pop template – but only up to a point. The vocals are set low in the mix and are not easily discernible, part of melodies that are very catchy and memorable. You can make out words here and parts of a sentence there, but you get the feeling that the focus is not on lyrics so much as creating a palette of sound with which to work from. It just serves to add another layer or intrigue and interest to this album. The vocals throughout the album are complemented and underpinned flawlessly by the layered harmonies that lurk in the background.
September Girls may wear their influences proudly on their collective sleeves but by the end of Cursing The Sea you realise amid all the ghosts of music past they have managed to carve out their own defiant niche -a niche that you suspect they will fight tooth and nail to defend.