Introducing: Girlhood

When­ev­er you’re down, if you can’t call on a friend to keep you sane, you can always call on music.

Meet Girl­hood: pro­duc­er and mul­ti-instru­men­tal­ist, Chris­t­ian Pinch­beck, and lyri­cist and singer, Tes­sa Cavan­na. Brought togeth­er by a chance meet­ing on a west Lon­don canal, they are mak­ing soul­ful music to pick you up in your time of need, and appre­ci­ate the good times that bit more.

Their music is the soul­ful cousin of Base­ment Jaxx and Groove Arma­da, with nods to the era when Diana Ross and Love Unlim­it­ed were at their peak.

“Our music is about mak­ing you feel some­thing close to you,” Tes­sa tells Fringe Fre­quen­cy. “I don’t want to tell you what to feel. I’m just writ­ing about what I’m think­ing about, and if it res­onates with you that’s cool.”

Strong feel­ings that come to mind are com­fort (‘Say It’) and inti­ma­cy (‘My Boy’). That’s because Tes­sa brings bags of pres­ence to Christian’s vivid com­po­si­tions. Her voice rich and vel­vety, she has the aura of Gabrielle or Dawn Robin­son (En Vogue). She draws from a pletho­ra of stim­uli, includ­ing make-ups and break-ups, Vivi­enne West­wood, Cindy Sher­man, and thoughts of sum­mer­time and work­ing late.

“As a kid, I was always singing and putting on shows at home, lis­ten­ing to all my mum’s cas­sette tapes, singing into hair­brush­es,” Tes­sa says. “I feel like it’s the most hon­est thing, music. It’s such a great way to get how you’re feel­ing across.”

“Our songs work on their own as well as a collection, and we want each song to stand strongly on its own, but feel like a family when placed next to another” – Christian Pinchbeck

Chris­t­ian explains that his own attrac­tion to music start­ed with him bor­row­ing school sup­plies: “My love for song­writ­ing began when my rogue, teenage self thought it accept­able to pil­fer a bass gui­tar from my school’s music room and teach myself The Cure’s ‘Love Cats’, forc­ing myself to join arms with some fel­low Mar­ling­to­ni­ans to destroy such clas­sics as ‘Enter Sand­man’ and ‘Where is My Mind’.

As for how they got togeth­er, the two met when Chris­t­ian heard Tes­sa singing as she strolled passed his canal boat, moored near Not­ting Hill. Enchant­ed by the singer’s voice, he asked if she’d come aboard and sing over some of the tracks he’d been work­ing on. Instead of turn­ing down the then-stranger and putting a good dis­tance between them, she took him up on his offer of an impromp­tu jam session.

Since this chance meet­ing, buzz has steadi­ly been build­ing with each new scoop of their music. Their debut release, ‘My Boy’, is a warm blend of clip-clop piano notes, an ounce of The Go! Team’s fid­gety ener­gy, and brown-eyed soul. ‘Say It’ is slow-mov­ing moti­va­tion in the vein of Groove Armada’s ‘Lit­tle by Lit­tle’. Mean­while, their lat­est release, ‘Bad Deci­sions’, is the kind of self-reflec­tive groove you reach for when you feel like giv­ing your­self a hug.

Next, Girl­hood plan to release their first EP in November.

“It’s basi­cal­ly the first selec­tion of songs we’ve been work­ing on since day one – nice and sim­ple,” explains Christian.

“We con­cen­trate on each song as its own enti­ty – we’re not too focused on the pack­aged release for­mat. Our songs work on their own as well as a col­lec­tion, and we want each song to stand strong­ly on its own, but feel like a fam­i­ly when placed next to another.

“We’ll be releas­ing a series of EPs with this in mind, and we can’t wait to share the first with the world. The songs on the EP have a myr­i­ad of con­trib­u­tors – we real­ly aren’t pre­cious with instru­men­ta­tion! I have so many friends who can play much bet­ter than I ever could, and it helps to keep things fresh when you pass your baby onto some­body else to have a crack. That’s my thoughts, anyway.”

Girl­hood per­formed live in front of the pub­lic for the first time on Novem­ber 3 at the Hox­ton Bar & Kitchen, Lon­don. (Tick­ets are cur­rent­ly sold out for the show, but you can reg­is­ter for the wait­ing list here.)

Affa­ble pro­duc­er Chris­t­ian describes him­self as a “night­mare to work with”. Only Tes­sa can con­firm if that’s real­ly the case. But what we can be cer­tain of is togeth­er they make one hell of a team. Whether your dreams are com­ing true or fad­ing away, you can rely on Girl­hood and their smooth tunes to be there for you.

Group mem­bers: Chris­t­ian Pinch­beck (Pro­duc­er, Mul­ti-instru­men­tal­ist); Tes­sa Cavan­na (Lyri­cist and Singer).

Select­ed discography

  • My Boy (Sin­gle, 2016, Self-released)
  • Say It (Sin­gle, 2017, Self-released)
  • Togeth­er (Sin­gle, 2017, Self-released)
  • Bad Deci­sions (Sin­gle, 2017, Self-released)
  • Vol 1 (EP, 2017, Self-released)

File next to: The Avalanch­es; Moby; The Fugees; Groove Armada


Social media: Face­book, Insta­gram, Twit­ter, Sound­Cloud

Girlhood’s four sin­gles are avail­able out now, and their debut EP is due in November.

Image: Phil Sharp