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Release date: 1/22/21
A 2021 Tapehead City release !
After harnessing their sound over two EPs, Groupie are about to introduce themselves to the world proper with the release of their debut album Ephemeral, due out Jan 22, 2021. Recorded in studios across New York State, Ephemeral is a ten-track introspection on the transience of life, memories and heroes. With warm, yet dissonant tones and energetic, impassioned vocals strengthening this theme - it’s a sound that drives right to your heart.
Ephemeral juxtaposes the too-fleeting intimacies that establish a sense of belonging, as well as the changes that displace us. It deftly navigates the mental health challenges that come along with the ebbs and flows of belonging and displacement, and shows how far Ashley Kossakowski (bass, vocals) and Johanna Healy (guitar, vocals) have come since an unassuming Craigslist ad brought them together in 2015. The album begins with ‘Half Wave’, a surfy, poppy single reminiscent of 70s NYC punk. Kossakowski wrote this song coming out of the detritus of a terrible relationship, giving tongue-in-cheek commentary about unrealistic standards in dating and fleeting feelings of acceptance from a partner. On the experimental ‘Daleko’—which was mostly written in Polish, alongside Kossakowski’s mother, who penned the second verse— the immigrant herself and her first-generation child offer two different viewpoints of immigration, but both long for family far from America. ‘Thick as Glue’ is a grungy, garage rock song that analyzes the punk idols that were so formative for Healy as a teenage fangirl.
The album is comprised of flower petals, a metaphor for the album as a whole - at once pronounced yet delicate, feminine, ephemeral. The imagery stemmed from ‘Industry’, where Kossakowski keeps depression at bay by wandering through the flower block in Manhattan on 28th St., hoping that the feminine act of buying flowers will make her feel more at home.
Other notable tracks include the anthemic ‘No Hands’, a song dedicated to Healy and Kossakowski’s friendship and representative of their almost cosmic connection. They were collaboratively songwriting in their practice space and needed some lyrics. They’d both recently read Patti Smith’s M Train, and when they compared notebooks, they realized they’d both written lyrics about the exact same passage—“a faceless clock with no hands”, which then became the first and second verses of the song. Meanwhile, the fierce, post-punky ‘Poor You’, is the first song the band ever wrote. It charts Kossakowski’s uprooting experience of sexual harassment at her job, and her subsequent fantasies about her abuser being brought to adequate justice.
“We try to digest complex issues through music and hope that our music offers a similar catharsis for our listeners,” says Ashley. Groupie invites you to not only listen, but to scream alongside them.