Nostalgia Tracks: Girls’ Cheeky Quest for Their “Honey Bunny”

Girls © True Panther Sounds
Girls © True Panther Sounds

In the section Nostalgia Tracks, team members discuss their favorite songs, ones that they have a deep connection with. In this installment, editor Nicole Almeida discusses Girls’ song, “Honey Bunny.” 

If there was one band from the 2000s that was gone too soon, that band was Girls. Formed by Christopher Owens and Chet “JR” White, the San Francisco duo delivered some of the most memorable guitar-driven pop tracks of the 2000s in two albums and one EP, with an originality and candidness that is hard to find today. They bring the relaxed California essence to their music without necessarily sounding like a California band, each song a hazy dream which could be set anywhere around the world.

Everything they sing about seems ripped out of a page of anyone’s personal diary, but somehow they manage to keep the sonic and lyrical content fresh and enjoyable. There is nothing like listening to Girls for the first time, but the rush that comes before listening to their music after knowing how good they are is also delicious.

Girls’ last, and most critically acclaimed, album Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is their most confessional and intimate body of work. Love, death, and Owens’ turbulent relationship with his mother, are only some of the themes touched upon. In opening track “Honey Bunny”, Girls write a love song that is equally cheeky as it is hopeful – Owens’ confidence permeates the track, highlighted by his nonchalant delivery and lyrical candidness, but the determination to find his “honey bunny” underscores every words he sings.

Listen: “Honey Bunny” – Girls

I know you’re out there
You might be right around the corner
And you’ll be the girl that I love
No one could take you
No other man could make you an offer
‘Cause I’ll be the one that you want (always)

The song starts with what seems to be the soundtrack to a race. The beat, which slightly resembles the rhythm of horses galloping, is juxtaposed with two guitar strums which drag on followed by a riff which rushes forward. Owens’ quest for love has begun, and his desperation is established from the song’s first seconds.

He is looking for someone, but doesn’t know who, all he knows is that he’ll fall in love with this girl. At first this declaration might seem lonely, but Owens’ charisma and cockiness are central to his persona, and so he is certain the girl he chooses will love him back, “(always)”.

father son holy ghost - Girls
father son holy ghost – Girls
I’ve been messing with so many girls
Who could give a damn about who I am
They don’t like my boney body
They don’t like my dirty hair
Or the stuff that I say
Or the stuff that I’m on

The chorus is arguably the song’s catchiest part. Owens is joined by girl group-like backing vocals which add more rose-tinted lenses to his romantic search. Here, he reveals that his intentions aren’t just to look for his next short-lived fling, but instead someone who he can build a steady relationship with, since the girls he’s been with recently “could give a damn about who [he is]”.

He repeats what seems to be criticisms he’s received from these girls, displaying his weaknesses with no reservations to prepare his future loved one for what is to come. But this is a little too sticky sweet and vulnerable. A brief moment of silence ensues until Owens declares: “I’m going to get you, honey” and the balance between confident and fragile has been restored.

Girls © True Panther Sounds
Girls © True Panther Sounds
I know you’re somewhere
And nothing’s ever gonna phase me
You’ll look at me and know I’m the one
And you will love me
For all the reasons everyone hates me
And we can do whatever we want (always)

Speaking of confidence, it is the chief voice on the next verse. Owens is determined on his search, “nothing’s ever gonna phase [him]”. He reiterates the idea that his love will be instantly reciprocated but then refers back to the chorus and says that his new lover “will love [him] for all the reasons everyone hates [him]”.

Mama, she really loved me
Even when I was bad
She’d hold my little hand
And kiss me on the cheek
And when I cried
She would hold me closely
And tell me “everything will be alright”
That woman loved me
I need a woman who loves
Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! (Yeah!)

The bridge is where desperation gives way to nostalgia and introspection. Owens references his mother, who he famously had a troubled relationship with due to her involvement with the Children of God cult, and her unwavering love for him. The guitar sighs in slight melancholy and Owens goes from a bravado-filled alpha male to a young, fragile kid.

His mother’s love was protective, comforting, and exclusive, and this is what he wants from his next lover. Though Owens is looking for love, he also seems to be searching for a judgement-free relationship, someone who will look through his flaws, be aware of them, but still love him unconditionally. If you read between the lines throughout the song, you can find whispers of his self-doubt which he masks with witty words and a pulsing melody.

I know you’re out there
You might be right around the corner
And you’ll be the girl that I love

“Honey Bunny” finishes full circle, with the melody and rhythm picking up where they left off and Owens singing the same three lines which started the song. His desperation shines through when he repeats “you’ll be the girl that I love” in increasing intensity until the song comes to an abrupt end. Whether Owens managed to find true love or not is yet to be discovered, but if you want to relive the rush of the search for love, you’ve found your “Honey Bunny.”

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:: stream/purchase Girls’ album ::

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father son holy ghost - Girls

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Girls © True Panther Sounds

“Honey Bunny” – Girls

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