The coming-of-age narrative has proved fertile cultural mining ground for writers ever since Homer penned The Iliad, and The Preatures explore it to spectacular effect on their second LP, ‘Girlhood’. Essentially a tale about the trials and tribulations of entering womanhood during the Modern Age, it's as much a love letter to the band's native Australia as it is an ode to singer Izzi Manfredi's internal contradictions.
Most of these tracks find Manfredi wrestling with the opposing urges that grip us as we fight to define ourselves emerging from the cocoon of youth. This is best exemplified on the driving pop-punk of the title track, where Mandredi "dances in denial" while pondering future stardom. Elsewhere ‘Lip Balm’ riffs on the superficiality of hook-up culture, while ‘Magick’ chronicles the gradually escalating sadness that accompanies unrequited love.
If those themes sound melancholic, musically and instrumentally ‘Girlhood’ is anything but. The LP is awash with ‘80s-style sun-bleached melodies and star-cradling choruses, making it the perfect accompaniment to the final month of summer.
"We’re like the Dreamtime, shedding our skin again,” Manfredi sings on the excellent ‘Yanada’, setting her evolution from girlhood to womanhood against the backdrop of the Aboriginal creation myth. And it's that lyric that perfectly captures the spirit of ‘Girlhood’: one of mystery, one of transition, but also one of magic.
Words: Gibreel Farishta
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