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GIRLPOOL
What Chaos Is Imaginary
(ANTI-Records)

Girlpool’s Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad have always been in perfectly imperfect harmony with one another. So much so, that on their first two albums, the BFFs-since-high-school’s voices were often hard to tell apart through all the charming dissonance. With What Chaos Is Imaginary, they’ve both discovered their own voices, and together have found a new sound that’s more refined yet as earnest as ever. Tucker, who uses they/them pronouns, has gone through a transition, which they prefer to call a “gender flow,” that has deepened their voice, giving it a beautifully raspy timbre that vibrates on opener “Lucy’s,” a previously released solo track.

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The album is filled with tracks that have been given the signature Girlpool treatment: droning guitars and sweeping harmonies that sound shambolic but are sneakily precise. Tucker and Tividad go back and forth taking the lead; Tucker works through an inner monologue on the upbeat rambler “Hire,” while Tividad’s “Where You Sink” becomes a hazy meditation punctuated by a clip-clop beat. The duo is still at its best when the pair joins forces—on the Johnny Jewel-sounding title track, Tucker’s tenor rumbles beneath Tividad’s soft vocals as they swell over a string accompaniment. And on the sleek, ambient album closer, “Roses,” they become a haunting choir. This album is a leap forward in the evolution of Girlpool. 5/5

What Chaos Is Imaginary is out February 1, 2019 
By Shannon Carlin
This piece originally appeared in the January/February 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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Top photo: What Chaos Is Imaginary album cover

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