Wherever Girlpool Plays, the Duo Always Makes Sure It Feels Like Home

"I feel like you kind of curate a space, no matter where you are, it's really important to remember and feel the intimacy that DIY shows so often provoke," says Harmony Tividad when asked what it's like playing in bars.Though neither member of Girlpool is old enough to be in an actual bar, Tivivad and her bandmate Cleo Tucker don't think a place reserved for adults only changes the way their performances come across. In a bar, at a house show or in a warehouse, Girlpool makes every space its own. 

Coming up through the Smell in Los Angeles, one of the country's longest-lasting and most influential all-ages DIY venues, the two women founded Girlpool after hanging out at shows together. Inspired by Smell staples like Moses Campbell, Peter Pants and Heller Keller, the two musicians started making music of their own. They had been playing in other bands, but hit it off as friends and wanted to do something different. 

The space was the place — Tucker and Tividad found themselves at shows every weekend, heading to the Smell to see their favorite bands and eventually, playing at venue together as Girlpool. "It feels so good for both of us to create and curate a space like, regardless of where we're playing. We really try to make sure that people are feeling safe and comfortable and emotionally present and available to feel inspired," says Tividad.

"We really try to pour ourselves in in a really sensitive, soft manner — so that it sort of becomes a contagious spirit within the space," says Tucker.

Listening to their music feels like realizing a friendship — while Tucker and Tividad's voices are unique and often work together in harmony, they can also wind around each other to create one big, powerful sonic gesture. The duo's instrumentation is just bass and guitar, a sparse but equally strong instrumentation that drives Girlpool's sound. The sisterhood extends to songwriting, as they suss out each other's thoughts and feelings together, processing it all into song.

"When we write together, it's this reach — it feels like monkey bars. You're swinging around for the next bar and then you hit it and grab it — that's what finding the feeling is like and finding the words. It's so cool," says Tividad. "It feels so good when you're stable again. It's vulnerable; when you have a feeling and you can't quite articulate it, you feel like you lose yourself for a minute. You're hanging there with one hand on — but then you grab the other bar and you're centered and you have that feeling like it's yours and you've claimed it."

Tucker continues to describe their decoding of each other's feelings that make the songs work: "You can have someone to be on the monkey bars with. We feel really close to each other and that's part of what the project is all about — our friendship." 

See and hear Girlpool's friendship in action this Sunday, October 18 at 7 p.m. Lost Lake Lounge with Jobless, Kissing Party and Lanedecay. Tickets are $10; this show is 21 and up. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Lost Lake's website
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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies