Hard Girls (whose name is a reverential nod to the Soft Boys, an early influence on the band) spent several years on the road touring with Say Anything, Modern Baseball, AJJ, and Cymbals Eat Guitars among others before returning to the Atomic Garden studio to record Floating Now with engineer Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor). Their new record doubles down on the bold, introspective post-punk that has become the band's calling card, while channeling a weird, insistent melodicism not unlike 90's giants Lou Barlow and Robert Pollard.
Alternating vocal duties, guitarist Mike Huguenor's lyrics are poetic and furious, while bassist Morgan Herrell favors a Bradbury-like style of folksy storytelling, but both cohesively explore themes of mortality, doubt, and the struggle to confront these fears. While the trio's hometown of San Jose, CA is poised to be the site of a sprawling new Google campus, it is already the poster child for the alienating class-divide of the new tech economy, embodied by soaring real estate prices and sweeping homelessness. In an interview with the AV Club, Huguenor explained that "'Guadalupe On The Banks Of The Styx' is a song about a place that was once beautiful—where anyone could find peace for just the cost of crossing the river—but has, in our lifetime, become a place of lost and wandering souls." On album closer "Running" Herrell asks in heartbreaking fashion, possibly to an average, struggling San Jose resident, or possibly to the area's tech overlords, "Every day of your life you try to prove it was worth it all to them. Was it worth it? I don’t know, ask me again."
Cover artwork by Sacramento-based collage artist Jarred Sorci.
1) Field '99
2) Puddle of Blood
3) Codeine Dreams
6) Halfway to the Hearse
7) Guadalupe on the Banks of the Styx
8) Neurons on the Fritz
10) Dulcet Tones
11) Dizzy Wizard
1st press: 500 Black, 500 White(Vinyl comes with Download Code)