Track x Track: Girl and Girl - ‘Call A Doctor’

Track x Track: Girl and Girl - ‘Call A Doctor’

Queensland garage rockers on the rise take us through their highly anticipated debut full-length, track by track

Image credit: Zac Bayly

It’s been an absolutely whirlwind couple of years for Brisbane four-piece Girl and Girl. Releasing their independent EP Divorce back in September 2022 to critical acclaim, the band would undergo a lineup change before signing to legendary label Sub Pop for the rest of the world distribution, and Virgin Music Australia domestically.

The fruits of their labour following these signings is the band’s highly anticipated debut full length, Call A Doctor, which has just been released. Across eleven songs, singer-songwriter Kai James bares his soul with some personal and relatable songwriting that cover everything from mental health issues to the existential dread-inducing idea of the human race’s planned obsolescence. With influences equally plucked from punk rock and indie pop, Call A Doctor packs some big, anthemic electric guitar led moments along more mellow acoustic numbers to great effect.

I had this idea of a theatrical concept album for quite some time.” James explains. “I grew up going to theatre shows and studying ballet, so kind of had a love for theatrics instilled in me at an early age. It made sense to centre the record around mental health for a few reasons, firstly because it's been such a prevalent issue for me in my life, but also because it's a topic I would've struggled approaching in a sincere way. For me to speak so openly and honestly about all this I kind of needed it to be dramatic and silly and theatrical and over the top, I guess in the same vein as 'if you don't laugh you cry'. I needed to trick myself into deep diving into a lot of these confronting thoughts and feelings. I like the idea of it playing out like that from an audiences perspective too, you don’t realise what’s happening till two or three listens in, and by then its already too late, you’re self-reflecting and growing as a person - haha sucker!

To celebrate the  release of Call A Doctor, Girl and Girl will be hitting the road for a mammoth EU/UK tour from July to September, with a cheeky run of Aussie shows sandwiched between during August (all dates below). We’re stoked that Kai James took some time to take us through Call A Doctor, track by track:

INTRO + Call a Doctor

ok so this track is just like word vomit, it sets the scene for the record, we meet our young hero and his inner doctor, it’s hugely sarcastic and dramatic but sincere all at the same time. The INTRO monologue is fun and silly, and i kind of just riffed it in the moment, there were some points i wanted to hit, but it’s mostly improvised, and we spent so long on it in the studio, there are probably 1000 versions, with Burke giving me really great acting advice between takes. Then the track explodes into a five minute vent, and a big vent like this is so important, and i still feel that release most nights that we play it live, but at the time of recording it was much more stressful, and i think you can hear that stress coming through, which really adds to the overall theme of the track and the record. It also includes my favourite lyric ‘God i hope this mother fucking record sells.’

Hello

CAD ends with ‘life’s pretty great, until next week’, Hello is next week, after the big life altering realisation that is CAD our young hero has spiralled into misery once again, only one week later. Hello came together really well in the studio, Fraser totally slayed his bass part and I was especially thrilled to include the little nod to the sound of music in the outro.

Maple Jean and the Anthropocene

Maple Jean is a wallaby I hit and killed with my car and my first thought was ‘wow i wonder what this means spiritually for me’, and my second thought was ‘oh my god maybe a bit of empathy for this previously living being you fucking pyscho’. I tried to set the track up as a bit of a nursery rhyme, from Maple Jeans fairytale-esque birth, to me running her over with my car, drawing focus on how self centred i was in the moment, and maybe how far i’d fallen down the spiritual symbology rabbit hole, i.e. this living thing wasn’t put on earth to give you some kind of message. Also ! call wires if you’ve hit something with your car or see an animal in distress, it’s a wildlife support hotline in Aus.

Oh Boy!

Oh Boy! is my favourite track on the record hmmm well maybe tied first with CAD, it’s a whole lot of fun, it's all about growth from turmoil, but also that realisation that life is continual growth, there’s no end goal, and just how relieving that idea is. And in a similar vein to CAD the outro is just one big word vomit vent. I felt the pressure with this one in the studio, i think we all had a pretty strong case of demoitis, where we’d become attached to the demo version, and were trying to match it in the studio, which we did in some ways, but gave it a nice new spin in many other ways.

Suffocate

There are a lot of types of love, suffocate is about the type that is endless and unconditional but at the same time can sometimes be overbearing and, well, suffocating. How do you tell someone so kind and loving and supportive that you need space, boundaries can be a really sensitive and challenging thing to set.

Mother

This track, believe it or not, is dedicated to my beautiful mother whom I love very muchly. It’s about growing up, and your mum going from that all knowing being to more of a real life everyday person, which can be relieving and confronting and beautiful all at the same time.

You’ll Be Alright

The record kind of softens from here on out, it’s a little less dramatic and maybe a bit more sincere, well no, the first half is totally honest and sincere, it’s just in a silly dramatic voice. And we’ve marked the shift with an acoustic guitar, revolutionary i know, well tbh in the GAG world it is. In my head this track is a new family going through the trials and tribulations of life, and in the tough moments gripping to that deep trust that everything will be alright.

Comfortable Friends

Ok maybe this is my favourite track on the record. I'd demoed it with a friend like a year before, and had become pretty attached to that version of it, demoitis once again. I really wanted to get it onto the record, but was nervous approaching something so soft and stripped back, it’s not really what we’ve dealt with before. We found a pretty good middle ground in the end. I think there are many ways you can interpret the meaning, and one might be a lover becoming a friend.

Our Love (Ours Only)

Girl and Girl takes on love! This is my first pro-love song, before this I'd only ever written about love ending or struggling through love, but our love is pretty pro love with only minor hints of doubt.

OUTRO

Outro i wrote for my granny, after she’d passed i never really felt like i’d had the chance to say a proper goodbye, so i wanted this to be that. I always really struggle with writing with an idea in mind, and i’m not sure i totally got where i wanted to go, a lot of the time i never really do, you gotta be pretty ready to not grip too tight and let go of ideas, which i had to do in parts, but i really love the end result. It's pretty simple and to the point. I was also listening to Arcade fire’s neon bible album on repeat at the time, and it feels like those kinds of themes made their way in too.

          - Kai James, May 2024

GirlandGirl AlbumArt CallADcotor 1500px

GIRL AND GIRL AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
Friday 2 August 2024 – Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, Gold Coast
Saturday 3 August 2024 – The Outpost, Brisbane
Friday 9 August 2024 – Great Club, Sydney
Saturday 10 August 2024 – Howler, Melbourne

GIRL AND GIRL EU/UK TOUR DATES
Friday 5 July 2024 – Eurockéennes Festival, Belfort, FR
Saturday 6 July 2024 – Midi Fest, Hyeres, FR
Tuesday 9 July 2024 – O2 Academy Bournemouth, Dorset, UK ■
Wednesday 10 July 2024 – O2 Academy 2, Oxford, UK ■
Thursday 11 July 2024 – Foundry, Sheffield, UK ■
Friday 12 July 2024 – Arts Club, Liverpool, UK ■
Friday 30 August 2024 – Brighton Psych Fest, UK
Saturday 31 August 2024 – Manchester Psych Fest, UK
Sunday 1 September 2024 – End of the Road, Dorset, UK
Tuesday 3 September 2024 – George Tavern, London, UK
Wednesday 4 September 2024 – Louisiana, Bristol, UK
Friday 6 September 2024 – Misty Fields Festival, Asten, NL
Monday 9 September 2024 – Point Ephemere, Paris, FR
Friday 13 September 2024 – Haldern Pop Bar, Haldern, DE
Saturday 14 September 2024 – Strom, Munich, DE
Sunday 15 September 2024 – Lark, Berlin, DE
Monday 16 September 2024 – MTC, Cologne, DE
Wednesday 18 September 2024 – Loppen, Copenhagen, DK
Wednesday 18 - Saturday 21 September 2024 - Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg, DE

Supporting Royel Otis ■

Follow Girl and Girl: Instagram / Facebook

Listen: Julia Holter - Sea Calls Me Home

Julia Holter drops another elegant single in the lead up to her fourth album.

9 years ago

Watch: Pepa Knight - Coyote Choir

Pepa Knight's soothing folktronica gets an equally soothing video clip.

9 years ago

Video Premiere: PEPTALK - Close Friend (Live at The Scott's House)

Take a first watch of the Eora/Sydney-based indie pop three piece’s intimate & electric live version of their latest single

11 months ago

Introducing Irish trio whenyoung, who just dropped an impressive debut EP, Given Up

Bringing a sound that feels nostalgic and fresh at the same time.

6 years ago

Close
-->