Album review: Girl Skin – Shade is on the Other Side

Album artwork

Words by Lady Godiva

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Sid Simons drew attention to his promising songwriting abilities in his other band Beechwood whilst subsequently releasing his first EP Lovemore in 2018. Fronting the six piece- evocatively named Girl Skin– 2020 marks the year of his first full length release Shade Is On The Other Side, miles away from the realm of his glam / post punk and proto punk outfit as a bass player.

Inviting and soothing, the album opener ‘Forever and Always’ beams the listener into a comfort-zone bubble, making you aware that your longings are universal and that you belong, turning you into a confidant throughout the record. This debut reads like a diary one is fortunate to have access to as it delves into an artist’s soul and its unadulterated observations and aphorisms.

That ability to connect is decked out in stripped down gems that may make you think or smile. Sentimental variations magnified by lush vocal harmonies and romantic chords. These eleven songs convey striking maturity for a twenty-four year old melodist and are all crafted with heartfelt meticulousness as bittersweet pop tales. There are more layers to each of these tunes than what appears at first listen, each of their moods insinuates itself inside a cozy part of your brain, waiting to be revisited.

Girl Skin

The Beatles influence is sprinkled around this record but especially prominent on “Darling”, a tour de force of a love song all wrapped up in Lennon like bliss, a most heart melting love declaration on par with Jealous Guy, mark my words. Originally part of an EP co-written with Sid’s partner and muse Foster James, it is the pinnacle of Simon’s songwriting. If it doesn’t pull at your heart strings, get medical help. It is the kind of all round perfect pop ballad that can make sensitive souls tear up.

Crafting poetry out of daily life and its full scope of shenanigans or uncomfortable situations, Girl Skin songs possess the refreshing candour and sparkle of youth whilst being endowed with coming of age acuity. Follow these cheerful sorts along their adventures, you will thrive in their
company.

Shade is on the Other Side was released in April 2020 on Julian Records and is available on vinyl and most streaming platforms

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