REVIEW: God is a Woman - Indian Queens
It has been a joy discovering Indian Queens, who I will admit arrived a bit unexpectedly out of left field for me. God Is A Woman delivered a very rare and irresistible, 'why not stop whatever else your doing and just listen' brain signal. From there, it has just been on repeat, repeat, repeat.
This is an extraordinarily accomplished, confident, debut LP from the London 3-piece. Whilst there is what might (tentatively) be called a post-punk or indie-rock sound, God Is A Woman is many, many steps away from the common swagger and guess-what-we-got-up-to-last-night storytelling in both its delivery and themes.
Sonically, Jennifer O'Neil's beautiful, soaring vocals are prominent and coupled with her minimal but no less melodically significant guitar. These are married to the marching rhythms and vocal harmonies of sister Katherine (bass), and driving beats of lifelong friend Mat (drums).
Lyrically, there is a dark edge and a critical eye is in force across these songs. Opener Bubblewrap is an environmental protest song, visceral in its assessment of the ecological reality given to planet Earth by humans and prophetic of the future for said species.
Title track God is a Woman, meanwhile, muses on the gender assumptions of faith as well as the possible impacts of the discovery of an alternate gender or sexuality when it comes to the divine one.
Taken as a whole, the songwriting looks challenging issues square in the eyes and is willing to explore them from differing perspectives. Happily, the band have also succeeded in matching honed musicianship with a knack for melody, to create a coherent sound.
But this album is no one trick pony. Just when Indian Queens have sensed you were getting all cosy with an indie vibe, I Get No Rest brings a hip hop beat to the table.
I am already eagerly anticipating the chance to see these songs performed live, and imagining what Indian Queens might just achieve next musically - both firmly 'new favourite band' territory.
This is a brilliant debut album and, in this humble opinion, a band which deserves all the acclaim they must now surely receive.
God Is A Woman is the April 2020 //HAPPY on the INSIDE// Album of the Month
Out now via Cool Thing Records.
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