Track x Track: girli - 'Matriarchy'

Track x Track: girli - 'Matriarchy'

North London’s alt-pop sensation, girli, takes us through her boundary-defying LP, track by track

Image credit: Claryn Chong

Milly Toomey (AKA girli) has embarked on a profound journey of self-discovery, ultimately realising that she defies categorisation. Her strength emanates from her vulnerability, with courage deeply rooted in years of self-reflection, feeling out of place, and a persistent sense of not belonging.

Ushering in a new chapter, Matriarchy is a vibrant, evocative, and insightful record that showcases the celebrated, multi-faceted artist in full creative control. girli’s lyrics explore relatable themes of self-doubt, inner turmoil, and emotional overwhelm, with girli dubbing herself “the Queen of overthinking.”

Speaking about the new album, girli says “Matriarchy is an album of honest, authentic, confident but also painfully self-aware songs. It’s a story of the pain of growing up and healing from experiences that diminish your self-worth to nothingness. It’s about building yourself back up again after pain, setting boundaries and becoming a queen of your own queendom. It’s about the pain and joy of the queer experience, the rollercoaster of adulthood and mental illness, setting boundaries and learning to love yourself and ultimately finding your people, your community, your matriarchy.

girli has also launched a unique interactive online experience, The girliverse, offering special insights into the world of Matriarchy and some of her favourite music and cultural influences. Featuring a library room with books she’s currently reading and pictures of her favourite LGBTQIA+ figures adorning the walls—the girliverse provides a unique way for fans to connect with girli like never before.

To celebrate the release of Matriarchy, girli was kind enough to take us on a tour of the album, Track x Track.

Be With Me

A song about falling in love with yourself instead of someone else. Learning to love myself more because I’ve got me for life. It's about how being in a relationship with yourself is the best relationship ever because there are no strings attached, no jealousy, no lovers turned to enemies, no bad blood, only good chemistry.

Nothing Hurts Like A Girl

A song about how WLW (women-loving-women) relationships are so much more intense and emotional, with higher highs but lower lows. I used to date a lot of boys and never felt things as intensely as I did when I started dating women. The love is deeper, but the heartbreak hits harder. It's both wonderful and terrible at the same time.


A song about all the woes of being an adult and how overwhelming and emotional everything is. About the heaviness of the world swallowing you up. Feeling like everyone else gets it and you never got the guidebook to being a grown-up. The guidebook to growing up.


This song is about imagining chasing a lover across the world to Tokyo to try and reignite a love that’s died because they ran away from it. It's about feeling like I’m always the one to try to make things work and put in more effort when the other person has already given up.

Lose My Cool

A song about being on the edge of giving up because the hand you’re being dealt by the universe just keeps getting shittier. Everyone keeps telling you these are the best years of your life, but you’ve been waiting for them to be for a decade. "I’m in my prime", whatever that means. If someone tells me I’m in my prime one more time, I’m gonna lose my cool. Asking the universe, angels, whoever the fuck is in control here to cut me some slack.

Her Too

A painfully honest song about falling for someone new too soon after a breakup: falling for a new girlfriend while still getting over an ex-girlfriend. Being stuck between an older, familiar love and a new, exciting love. The fairytales never mention this, when the faces blur and your head is split. Being in love with two people at once, wanting them both and not knowing what to do.

Crush Me Up

A song about crushing so hard on someone it’s like the image of them is playing on an infinite loop on a TV inside your head. But it’s a nice kind of crush; a requited one, you equally thirst for each other. It’s a jump up and down in your room at a sleepover with your friends and blush red when you talk about them kinda crush. I wrote this about my girlfriend when we first met. Crush me up (like I’m a drug) and take all of me because I want all of you.

Out of Breath

A song about my ambition having me in a headlock. Never being able to appreciate the moment, always looking at what could be better, wanting more - will I ever be satisfied?

Made To Break

A song about ruminating on a relationship ending and wondering what went wrong. Worrying it was your fault, debating with yourself if it was you or them that caused the end... when it was obviously them. Wondering if you’d rather be with that person and feel lonely or actually be alone and battle things yourself. Realising that either way, you would’ve been in pain. Because this is what I do, I can hurt myself just fine. I don't need you to. I search for pain in unhealthy relationships with other people, and if I don’t have them then I turn back to the unhealthy relationship I have with myself and seek the pain there.

Kind of Stuck

A song about feeling in a constant state of confusion and being “stuck”. Always in a state of being lost about what direction to take, how to feel okay, how to live the best life I can and watching everyone else around me figure it out before me.

Feel My Feelings

A song about being an oversensitive, overemotional, over-reactive person. It’s an apology to a partner who’s getting frustrated with how emotional and dramatic I am. It’s about not being able to control my emotions and mood swings, and them complicating my relationships beyond my control. You like to tell me I’m the queen of overthinking; what other way of thinking is there?


A song about the internal negative voice that tells you you’re shit 24/7, and makes you feel like the person you are outwardly to everyone else is a massive lie. About feeling like a fake and a poser. Constantly doubting yourself. Painfully self-aware. Imagine how much you could do if you got out of your own way.


A loud, cheeky, sensual song about two women falling in love and having sex with each other and how it feels like an act of rebellion towards the patriarchy. A song about how being queer feels like you’re rewriting the rules of society and creating your own brand-new world. The female gaze, not the male gaze.

Happier Her

A song about going through a really shitty time but also noticing how every day you get one step closer to the person you’re supposed to be; healed, healthier, happier. It’s about seeing the future version of yourself and her helping you through the shit times. It's about growing into yourself and slowly loving you. Reassuring yourself every day even if you don’t believe it that things are gonna get better. You will be a happier her than before.

          - girli, May 2024

Matriarchy ALBUM ART

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