How Goat Girl guitarist beats cancer and works on new album On All Fours

Goat Girl (left to right) Holly, Ellie, Lottie and Rosy. Picture: Holly Whitaker

If you’ve had your ear placed firmly to the concrete of South London’s bustling music scene over the last few years, you’d have undoubtedly heard the ebbs and flows of Goat Girl’s nuanced and transgressive sounds.

To new listeners, Goat Girl seem to settle bang in the middle of the post-punk, soul, indie and electronica ringed Venn Diagram of musical finesse. 

Since the band’s self-titled debut album released in 2018 on the legendary Rough Trade Records, it’s been anything but a normal few years for musicians across the country; it’s safe to say that the rules haven’t bent for Ellie Davies, guitarist and singer for Lewisham’s crown-jewel of a 4-piece, Goat Girl. 

Releasing their sophomore album ‘On All Fours’ earlier in 2021, the band were met with many challenges, Ellie Davies, (aka L.E.D) mentioned how long the band had eagerly been waiting to release and the setbacks they met along the way: “We wrote it in 2019 and recorded it in October 2019. So yeah, we’ve been sat on it for a while.”

“We didn’t really want to hang on, because we’d already been hanging on for so long and cancelled so much, not because of Covid as a delay in release, but because I was diagnosed with cancer. Just as we completed the recording of the album, that delayed back a lot of things, we put off going on tour and stuff.” 

Thankfully, treatment for Ellie’s cancer was short-lived: “I finished in May 2020. So I’ll be in proper remission for five years, I think it is.”

During the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, Ellie and the rest of Goat Girl had accepted how long they may have to wait to bring out their new album: “We kind of just rolled with the times. I feel like everyone, especially at the beginning [of the pandemic], was thinking ‘Oh, this will only last like three months and then I think we’ll be back to normal.’ And I think you just don’t know something like this. How long is it going to really last?”

Reminiscing on her creative process, Ellies digs deeper into the feeling of being thwarted by inactivity over the lockdown period.

She said: “I think if you’re constantly living in a world or projecting in a world that isn’t your reality, then you’re really just going to be frustrated.”

‘Crack’ from Goat Girl’s new album ‘On All Fours’

Launching off from the band’s debut album in 2018, Ellie describes how the band felt their own sound change from then, up to now: “The first album sits in a world that we existed in and the kind of gigs that you’re going to, but I think that there’s always been a love for electronic and soul music.

“That’s kind of more present on this album. It’s more broad and spanning.”

Taking inspiration from diverse influences has allowed Ellie to reflect on her musical role in Goat Girl, allowing her to refresh ideologies and attitudes to making music: “it was a natural evolution, the change in sound. I think you go through different phases of listening to different things throughout your life, depending on where you’re at.” 

Ellie opened up about some of her, and the rest of the band’s, favourite artists: “Actually, we all have quite different music tastes and listen to quite different stuff, it’s quite hard to get us to pick an artist that we all like.”

“But, I think we all like Crumb, a band from New York: they’re really good. We kind of have crossovers in world music and dance music, like Mulatu Astatke. But mostly we have quite different music tastes, I guess.”

Delving into further details about the album, Ellie lists ‘Where do we go from here?’ as her favourite song she helped create from the album: “I really like all of the different elements – I feel like it’s quite euphoric.” 

‘Where do we go from here?’ – from Goat Girl’s latest album ‘On All Fours’

Ellie goes on to describe the album as a whole: “I think it makes for quite an interesting album; I like all the songs as a collective body.”

Talking further about the writing process, Ellie delves into the band’s process for collaboration: “Some [songs] I wrote, some Lottie wrote, some Rosy wrote, some Holy wrote; I like that there are all of our personalities there.”

Finally, when asked ‘Where next?’ for Goat Girl, Ellie assures me that the band is still brimming with ideas: “We’ve all got quite separate ideas that we’ve been working on during lockdown, and kind of trying to collaborate over the internet.

“I think we are quite keen to just get in a room and write together because we had so much fun with this album. We’ve all got quite a lot of ideas at the moment. I feel like it will kind of come quite quickly and naturally.”

Follow Goat Girl on their socials, and look out for a show near you in the future. 




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