Pop-punk has seen it’s share of phases and various different kickstarts over the years. 2020 has been a weird year. Those two sentences go together more than you may think, as 2020 has seen Machine Gun Kelly turn to pop-punk, and now sees another hip-hop artist take the same time: Travis Mills with his newest project, girlfriends.
If we sound cynical, trust is in that we’re not. Mills has an eclectic range of music in his career, and pop-punk is another one that he pulls off just as well as veterans in the genre. Not on his own though, as girlfriends also features the brains of Nick Gross (Big Noise, Gross Labs, Find Your Grind) to round out the surprisingly fun duo.
The band have already released two songs from the album, “Eyes Wide Shut” and “California.” Both tracks have already received praise from fans of the genre and various different outlets. Now today,, girlfriends have announced that they will be releasing their self-titled debut album on October 23rd via Big Noise. You can pre-save the record here.
“This record has been a long time coming,” shares Mills. “It encapsulates all of my teenage despair with a perspective I haven’t been able to articulate until these last 5 years. It’s an exercise in honesty, vulnerability, angst and excitement with nostalgia as the glue that holds it all together. This is my journal entry. This is my life. This is girlfriends.”
For Mills and Gross, it was effectively a no-brainer to enlist John Feldman (blink-182, 5 Seconds of Summer, The Used) to work on the record with them. “Nick and I bring in what we want to sound like, all of our elements, and Feldy helps steer,” Mills explains. “You’ve got to trust the guy with the career he’s had. He knows what he’s doing.”
The songs owed even faster than the pots of coffee at the studio. Quickly, a debut emerged. “All the worlds collided between what Feldmann was already doing with his production style and where Travis wanted to go musically,” Nick explains. “It’s been really cool and went really quickly. We wrote close to 20 songs in just a few months.”
For Mills, girlfriends is an outlet for their soulful expression and emotional catharsis, a means to process all of their mixed and complex feelings in an ever-uncertain world, much like the music that inspired them in this project. Nick is equally enthusiastic to have another shot at pop-punk, the genre that first set him on his career path.
“This is definitely the most vulnerable I’ve been through my music,” Mills says. “The music I made in the past, it was fun, but it wasn’t an accurate representation of anything I was going through in my life. I had profound experiences and tragic losses, but I didn’t talk about them. I struggled with severe anxiety and depression. I think people have opened their hearts to mental health issues now, they’re more accepting of it in music. So, there’s a lot on this record that I’ve never said before. This kind of music really allows those topics to come to life and accentuate them.”
Pulling from artists like blink-182, 5 Seconds of Summer, Phoenix, and the 1975, girlfriends is bound to mix things up a bit throughout the entirety of their debut album. Stay tuned for more news and music to come.