Girlhood opens with the fierce title track, packed tight into an irresistible pop anthem complete with snappy drums and biting lyrics. Singer Isabella Manfredi swaggers through cynical lines about the struggles of being an adult and a woman, demanding “Give me heroism / Give me what is mine.” It’s a new kind of confidence, grown from the sweet alt-rock of their debut album Blue Planet Eyes, which featured Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition winner ‘Is This How You Feel?‘.
That’s not to say they’ve lost their vulnerability however, as second track ‘The First Night’ grows from blues/country influences into a sophisticated rock ballad with glistening synths about tender romance.
It’s the third track, ‘Yanada‘ that displays the most genuinely unique and mature songwriting. Featuring lyrics sung in the indigenous Darug language of Sydney, ‘Yanada’ (Darug for ‘Moon’) is a blissfully retro pop-rock track littered with catchy hooks and character. At just over 5-minutes long, the song progresses smoothly through melodic verses, uplifting choruses and a powerful final section, maintaining its irresistible vibrancy the whole time.
Innovative choices and experiments appear throughout the album, so it’s not surprising to hear that what was initially planned as a month long recording session expanded into a full year of creativity and self-exploration. Through the course of Girlhood‘s 11 tracks, The Preatures explore childhood and adulthood, femininity, relationships and the self. Of writing the album Manfredi said, “I really wanted to ask myself the right questions. Who am I in this band? What do I really think? What’s bugging me?” The result is an honest collection that asks as many questions as it answers, and provides some sweet sonic exploration at the same time.