Belfast’s Girls Names call the lead single for their first album in two years “Reticence,” and the name is apt. Frenetic, angular guitars gather in a wave that breaks into a martial tempo. The track trades that groove in for something even more aggressive before singer Cathal Cully yelps that he’s “upset!” It’s the first of many self-abasements, and they’re all delivered with a purring swagger.
“Reticence” is cold, sleazy, and endearingly vulnerable, a palpable moment of snarling pop catharsis. The band embraces the heights of European elegance and the lows of living hand to mouth, their crisp, energetic riffs opposing only the bourgeois mediocrity they see in other guitar bands. “Most guitar music now is just a playground for the rich middle classes and it’s really boring and elitist,” says Cully, in a press release. “We’re elitist in our own way, in that we’re on out own and you can’t fuck with us when we’ve nothing to lose.”
Girls Names are upset, to be sure, but they’re no longer afraid. Embracing their own reticence, the band hopes to overcome it and help us do the same. The song is streaming below.
Arms Around a Vision is due October 2 on Tough Love Records.