Our Girl’s hotly anticipated debut LP is a selection of the band’s most striking work to date, which as a whole form the group’s unmistakable identity as one of the most promising new bands on the UK’s guitar scene. Stranger Today sees the scuzz rock trio pushing their own boundaries and spilling the workings of their minds into a world that is intensely their own.
Many of the album’s tracks are an exploration of songwriter Soph Nathan’s relationships with the world around her. She takes the most personal approach on “I Really Like It”, an unassuming love song packed with simple yet heartfelt confessions. Elsewhere, there is as much contemplation to be found as there is honesty: “I forget that other people haven’t been in my head”, Nathan muses on “In My Head”, which descends into a flurry of distortion worthy of matching her confusion.
The musical soundscape in which these lyrics nestle so perfectly is conjured and tied together by bassist Josh Tyler and drummer Lauren Wilson. It’s the catchy melodies, fuzzy guitars and shoegaze sensibilities that give tracks like "Being Around" their impact, affording the band an earwormy quality that’s hard to shake. The swirling eponymous opening track sets this precedent, whereas new track “Josephine” takes a grungy direction; what begins as a discernible agitation morphs into a raw and visceral dissatisfaction. It’s a musical fluctuation of emotion that mirrors those we often feel inside that calms itself with a woozy and wandering instrumental, big enough to bask in and proves itself as a true album highlight.
Producer (and now-honorary band member) Bill Ryder-Jones seems to have been a catalyst in making all the pieces of the band’s debut fit together, and releasing Stranger Today through hometown Brighton independent Cannibal Hymns shows that this is a band who know who they really are. They’ve slowly yet surely gathered momentum and a self-assurance which can be heard in abundance on the record: closer “Boring” is proof that Our Girl are truly in their finest form, producing a debut that is anything but.