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Girlpuppy’s When I’m Alone cuts deep

"When I'm Alone"

Release date: 28 October 2022
Girlpuppy when im alone art
28 October 2022, 00:00 Written by Sam Franzini

Girlpuppy’s sophomore album, When I’m Alone, is filled with the sort of self-flagellation and earnest lyricism one might give pause to even write in a diary, let alone put in an album.

“I wish I lived inside the walls of your apartment,” she says on one song, casually, as if that were normal. “I’m so angry, but if you called me back / I’d tell you I loved you / …I don’t even need an apology,” she says later.

Girlpuppy, also known as Becca Harvey, usually pairs her self-imposed limitations with describing an intense crush, so enveloping to the point where she feels that her sense of self is melting away. “The only time that I spend talking / Is talking about you / Worried that my whole existence / Is swallowed up by you,” she sings on the breezy “Swallow.” But she’s even concerned with simple, everyday objects, the kind that pop up in your mind when you consider everything wrong with you during a panic attack, searching for ways to attack yourself: “Why did I come to Brooklyn? / I can’t ride the train at night,” she asks during the opening lines of “Destroyer.”

She even recognizes her own ability, or maybe, her own downfall, in a lack of reservations while writing. “This is so embarrassing / I tell everyone everything,” she sings on “Swallow.” At first, it seems like a nod to her audience – an amorphous blob that will hear her lyrics sometime, someday – but in the next line, she brings up the horrifying possibility that she might be spilling these intimate, huge feelings to the object of her attraction. “Only known you for a few moons / But I can’t seem to shut my mouth,” she says.

When I’m Alone’s main hindrance is the consistency of its tracklist – with the same guitar picks and slightly upbeat, indie tempos, there’s not many hooks to grab onto and differentiate. The most accessible songs on the tracklist, “I Want to Be There” and “Destroyer”, feel familiar even on the first listen, like the previous songs could have easily coagulated to form the two. There are no true surprises on the tracklist, and whether this is an advantage or disadvantage relies on the type of music you’re expecting or needing.

Girlpuppy’s When I’m Alone is a pleasant, if not particularly inventive listen. With some time and practice, she could curate the kind of dynamic indie-pop album that, while lyrically cutting, is exciting to listen to: Something New by Helena Deland or PRE PLEASURE by Julia Jacklin come to mind. If her songwriting was paired with instrumentals as intriguing, Harvey might be unstoppable.

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