London quartet Goat Girl released their highly-anticipated sophomore album On All Fours in January.
The group formed alongside Shame, Idles and others from the post-punk revival scene that’s taken hold of England over the past four years. Inking a deal with Rough Trade at just 18-years-old, they were soon thrown into the manic English press cycle while embarking on a long touring schedule.
Singer and guitarist Lottie Pendlebury wrote the majority of the tracks on their 2018 self-titled debut, creating a hypnotic journey that weaves between spoken-word and signature pop harmonies.
Recorded in 2019 with Speedy Wunderground label boss Dan Carey, On All Fours sees the band’s collaborative energy in full force with new bassist Holly Milleaneaux joining the ranks. The result is an album that’s unrestrained by genre boundaries, a fluid record that harps to electronica as much as it does to western ballads.
The group is set to release a 12” EP on May 7 featuring remixes of the album’s standout single “Sad Cowboy.” The guests offering their new interpretations of the track include PVA, Black Midi, Tony Njoku and Nidia.
Below, Goat Girl’s Ellie Rose Davis and Holly Mullineaux share how community engagement, a technology detox and staying creative helped them through the pandemic.
Ellie Rose Davis, aka L.E.D.
Early rising routine
I never feel like I have quite enough hours in the day to do everything I want and need to do, so I’ve been getting up around 8 a.m., which helps. I start the day with either a run or yoga, which I find to be both good ways to exert nervous energy and engage with my body and outside world before I’ve embarked on anything else. Then I have breakfast and a pot of green tea, which is super refreshing and hydrating, and I heard it helps you focus (and I think it does).
Engage in a local community activity
Gardening has been a big part of coping with lockdown. Most of my friends live south of the river and I’ve been temporarily living in Whitechapel, resulting in periods of feeling quite isolated and lonely. Whitechapel is also quite built up, so I’ve been craving green spaces and to see some sky. I started volunteering at community gardens; first at St. Katherines in Limehouse, then I began a free weekly group at Walworth Garden where we were taught about horticulture and helped maintain the garden and community allotment. The most valuable thing I get from gardening is a sense of community from interacting with the other volunteers, and also a connection to nature — it feels good to get your hands in the mud.
My dad suggested this because I’m on my laptop and my phone a lot. One day I decided to turn off all my technology and go for a walk, which sounds so simple, but it really made a big difference to how I felt. I felt more relaxed, less clouded with a million thoughts about sending invoices, getting back to bla-bla or posting this or that. Because so much of my work is on my phone, it sometimes feels like I’m always working if I’m contactable. It’s not selfish or irresponsible to take time away from your phone or your laptop to engage with the more tangible world.
Reachout to new people
In my spare time, I like to write and record my own music based more in the electronic realm. I love electronic music, but it can sometimes feel quite linear and isolating when it’s just you with a laptop and a synth. So, I’ve begun reaching out to other artists to collaborate with to expand the sound and bounce ideas off each other.
Holly Mullianeaux, aka Holly Hole
Trying something new
Since the last lockdown, I’ve been making an effort to try new things. For me, that’s been lino printing and making things out of clay. There’s something really satisfying about making something with your hands and it gives me a sense of accomplishment even if it’s not very good.
Make time to create
I have quite a bad habit of prioritising everything else I think I need to do (like chores) over writing music (the thing that I enjoy the most), which seems a bit mad really. I was mainly working from home before the pandemic, but I am even more so now. Sometimes I find it hard to mentally separate “work mode” and “creative mode” when I’m spending so much time in the same space (staring at a screen) and it feels like there’s no respite. I recently came to the realization that I need to make or allocate time to write and be creative for my own wellbeing and that less important things can wait.
Listen to new music
I write for a music blog, so I’m lucky enough to discover tons of new music almost every day. Sometimes it feels like a rabbit hole that you can get lost in and the sheer amount of talent that there is in the world is really inspiring. It’s been interesting to see the ways that artists have learned to adapt to the current climate and their sense of resilience gives me hope on days that I feel particularly fed up or frustrated.
I probably shouldn’t actively be encouraging anyone to go outside during a pandemic, but safely and sensibly, getting some fresh air helps me switch off, reset and feel refreshed. I’ve become kind of obsessed with my Steps App (probably not a healthy habit) and have been attempting to get my 10,000 steps a day (with varying levels of success). I’ve been really enjoying walking and I feel lucky to have quite a lot of green spaces nearby. It’s gotten to a point where I’m worrying if and how I’ll fit it in when things open up again, but overall, I think it’s a positive.
I’ve realised, since the pandemic, how important it is to look after yourself. Doing something you enjoy or makes you feel good every day can make a massive difference to your mental health, even if it’s a tiny thing. For me those things are reading and taking bubble baths with scented candles. I got a really nice bath shelf for Christmas that allows me to do all those things at once and take a cup of tea or glass of wine with me, depending on my mood — game changer!
This interview has been edited for clarity.