The 90s felt alive again at Rough Trade as trance rock band Our Girl took the stage for the release of their debut album.
On the 23rd August, Rough Trade hosted the latest in a wave of indie girl-led bands that are hitting the music scene. Branching out from the Mercury Prize nominated girl band, Big Moon, Our Girl are a throwback to the smoky alternative rock, that is reflected in their latest release Stranger Today. Rough Trade has the advantage of an intimate gig, with a space that allows the artists and the fans to mix before the gig, and a small venue space that strips back the staging and makes it more about the music.
“They create a refreshing sound”
Where Big Moon comes from a musical heritage of the mid-2000s indie scene, drawing from the bassy vocals such as the likes of Arctic Monkeys and punchy riffs like those of Catfish And The Bottlemen, Our Girl draws more from the previous decades. As they soar into numbers such as ‘In My Head’, I am reminded of the iconic 90s female leads such as Elastica and Sleeper. Yet they create a refreshing sound, it moves away from being an exact replica to becoming something of a homage.
“There’s a sense of pride in the way that they perform”
Their chemistry as a group allows them to excel beyond the small staging, and in the more intense moments, vocalist Soph Nathan and bassist Josh Tyler gravitate towards each other, leaning on each other’s heads and losing themselves in the music. There’s a sense of pride in the way that they perform, and they humbly introduce their new singles with comments such as “We really like it, we hope you do to”. And the crowd do, throwing themselves into the music.
“A simple riff and a vocal pairing that casts a spell over the room”
In the quieter moments, when it reduced down to Nathan and her guitar alone, the audience were provided with the opportunity to truly appreciate the talent of her voice. ‘Level’, entering into the air with a simple riff and a vocal pairing that casts a spell over the room, stands out as the highlight of the night. It is moody, soft, yet powerful, combining the prettier guitar notes with haunting twists. There’s a vulnerability to the song, building yet not fulfilling the anticipation to the last moment. The build transitioned the crowd from silent reverence to once more being lost within the music.
Should Our Girl return to Nottingham, or any venue near you, it would be a brilliant idea to venture on down to see them. I will be looking out for them in the future, as their sound would fill any venue size from the Bodega to Rock City. Both the album and the event have the feeling that they have massive potential. Their charisma helps them own the audience and capture the sound of both the past and the future of indie rock.
Featured image courtesy of Our Girl’s official Facebook page.