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"boundary issues” - girlhouse | Review

As you may have figured out by now, I love this band. Girlhouse is this grunge indie rock artist that has my heart.

The resonance of the guitar, the major build-ups, the nonchalant vocals, the total package of retro rock sounds makes Lauren (girlhouse) so unique. “Boundary issues” is a relatable track that acts as a reminder to establish some boundaries. It is such a playful blend of bold and captivating alternative influence and synths to make something new and impactful.

Showcased by the collection’s opener ‘boundary issues’, this new offering marks itself as one of the more anthemic and blistering songs she has ever produced. Inspired by her self-described lack of boundaries with strangers, this introductory single delivers a power punch of euphoric hooks that sees her in a far more adventurous guise than most.

Speaking about the new offering and EP, she said, "Every song on this ep is a lesson I learned while moving to a new city. When you move across the country there is a feeling of isolation and discombobulation for a while, I couldn't figure out which way was north in Nashville for way too long. That experience teaches you a lot about yourself. 'Boundary Issues' is at the very beginning of this ep and was inspired by my lack of boundaries with strangers. Keke Palmer made a tiktok about how she doesn't know how to get out of a conversation if someone starts making her feel uncomfortable and I had never related to internet content more. She says "please don't because I have boundary issues and I need you to help me help myself, so please go away now". She was the biggest inspiration for this song. Love her a ton for helping me feel seen. Eleventh Grade is the last song on the ep and is a bookend for that same idea. Boundary Issues is about my problems with setting boundaries with everyone, Eleventh Grade is more specifically about creating healthy boundaries in romantic relationships from my past and the feeling of being free from the judgement of others."

Following on from the release of her critically acclaimed debut ‘the girlhouse ep’ in May this year, which found support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, DUMMY, Under The Radar, WONDERLAND, The Independent, NOTION, The Independent, EARMILK, La Blogotheque, 1883 Magazine, ATWOOD MAGAZINE, and Record Of The Day, ‘the second ep’ looks to continue that bold and enticing direction she has cultivated for herself. Blending a mix of alt-pop and lo-fi indie-rock textures throughout, her newest EP is a bold and captivating example of her ever forward-thinking approach to songwriting.

Ever since she was a teenager, girlhouse’s Lauren Luiz has always felt the pull to try and experience new things. Growing up in the city of Portland, a place of polar opposites with the very liberal on one side to those wielding confederate flags on the other, she first began to make her mark as an actress in her early twenties. Appearing in shows like the NBC hit series Grimm, she felt like her career wasn’t really going to fully begin unless she moved to the heart of the action, Los Angeles.

Driven by her first serious breakup, she migrated to LA in 2013 to pursue her acting career, where she got her first big break in a production of Spring Awakening. The production was all through sign language and half of the cast was deaf, so it gave her a truly unique experience and taught her to sign. The show took her to Broadway, New York, saw her perform for President Barack Obama at The White House, as well as appearing on The Seth Meyers Show. And while her music had yet to come to the forefront of her creative spirit, it was this pursuit of an acting dream that led her to the places and people she would come to build her music career around.

She first moved in with a friend she had met while attending the Old Vic School in Bristol, and began to work at the Diesel Jean store at the city’s Beverly Centre mall. It was here that she met her future band mate/producer Tyler Thompson, who was working at the Sony Store at the time. The two had an instant creative connection and stayed firmly in touch when Lauren had to uproot to New York for her production. But once that show ended, she returned to LA and the pair formed their first musical venture WILD together with another band mate.

Together, WILD became a huge force on the US folk-pop scene. They went onto release a handful of singles and an album that garnered them more than 50 million streams, a slot at SXSW, and sync deals with the likes of Mazda, Switch, and Pixar, it felt like they have found a special connection that they could build something truly special around. But while WILD was still going strong, Lauren had spent the entire time writing music for herself, something different to what the band had been producing so far and so began to explore a new aesthetic. This was the formation of girlhouse, a solo project that Lauren felt was more in keeping with how she was as an artist and gave her a creative outlet to drive her own passions.

Inspired heavily by the works of fellow female singer-songwriters such as Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, and Lucy Dacus, girlhouse now feels like the most confident and fulfilling direction she has taken so far. Now living in Nashville, her personal life still continues to inspire and influence her music, offering us all a window into her soul and creating a bright and sweeping world for us all to enjoy.

Review by Hannah Schneider

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