We’re all weirdos at heart, so here’s five songs to help you feel seen and heard: Stockholm’s Girl Scout capture inner struggle with passion and charm on their debut EP ‘Real Life Human Garbage,’ a radiant indie rock record whose raw emotions, catchy melodies, and brutally honest lyrics make it an instant standout and an easy favorite.
for fans of Wy, Phoebe Bridgers, boygenius, Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail
Stream: “Weirdo” – Girl Scout
There’s a line in “Run Me Over” that cuts deeper than the rest, resonating long after the song is over. “Can you run me over with your car?” Girl Scout’s lead singer Emma Jansson pleads. “I wanna be a road that leads far, far away from here.” The music radiates with a familiar ache: That of the mid-twenty-something, searching for their place in the world while simultaneously all torn up inside over who they are, why they’re here, and where they belong.
“To tell you the truth, I ain’t doing well,” she later admits in “Weirdo.” “I am just a woman who doesn’t feel like something real. And I don’t feel like a woman – I’m just a kid, trying to stay hid from everyone else.” When we were younger, it seemed like the adults in our lives had it all figured out; well no sooner did we become adults, than we realized it was all smoke and mirrors – a charade to keep the kids satisfied. Life is a never-ending journey of self-discovery – and while we can all name some people who seem to have “found” themselves, most of us have no idea what we’re going to do (or who we’re going to be) when we finally do “grow up.” Young adulthood really is one big case of imposter syndrome; maybe we’ll just be kids for life?
Our twenties (and our thirties!) are a constant coming-of-age inner struggle, and candidly, it’s just nice to know we’re not alone. Girl Scout capture that cacophony with passion and charm on their debut EP Real Life Human Garbage, a radiant indie rock record whose raw emotions, catchy melodies, and memorable lyrics make it an instant standout and an easy favorite. We’re all weirdos at heart, so here’s five anthems to help you feel seen, heard, and understood.
Tongue tied, covered in rust
Letting go would be unjust
Something that I sell
To tell you the truth
I ain’t doing well
Fits like a glove
in the casing of a shell
I am just a woman who doesn’t feel
Like something real
And I don’t feel like a woman
I’m just a kid, trying to stay hid
From everyone else
Released February 15, via MADE Records, Real Life Human Garbage is a stunning introduction to one of 2023’s most promising new bands. Comprised of Jansson, Evelina Arvidsson Eklind, Per Lindberg, and Viktor Spasov, Girl Scout’s charming, sun-kissed slacker indie rock comes straight from Stockholm, Sweden – where a December night can last nearly 18 hours.
Thankfully, the band have had their own sonic heat to keep them warm this winter; produced by Ali Chant and Jacknife Lee, Real Life Human Garbage showcases Girl Scout’s musical breadth and lyrical depth through five songs that tap a nerve deep down inside. Life is often messy; rather than run from chaos, strain, and fracture in our lives, Girl Scout lean into the tension. Their music is a celebration of the struggle – achingly intimate, brutally honest, and unapologetic about the worries and woes, the scab and scars we carry with us every day.
I feel fine when I’m driving by my high school
The buildings look small and I am supersized
I guess it’s alright to put the shame aside
When I look up at the sky and see a meteorite
Oh it makes me wanna do better
Oh I wish I could feel better than I do
All the time and everywhere
– “All the Time and Everywhere,” Girl Scout
For Girl Scout, who officially introduced themselves on September 1st of last year, these songs are a long time coming – and they’re just the beginning.
“We had a big batch of demos recorded during the pandemic, and the songs that ended up on the EP were the ones that stuck out to us,” Emma Jansson tells Atwood Magazine. “Three of them are songs we wrote during our first rehearsal as a band, so they really depict our earliest sound. We wanted to present something that was representative of what we were doing at the time. It’s a very clear artistic starting point for us. We have written and recorded a lot more material since recording RLHG, and I think there will be a very natural shift into our upcoming releases. This EP is very representative of the first few months as a band, so this is a perfect introduction to our musical journey.”
The EP’s title “started as a joke where Emma called Viktor ‘Garbage Boy,’ which turned into ‘Real Life Garbage Boy’ which turned into ‘Real Life Human Garbage,’” she adds with a smile. “When the time came to name the record, it felt fitting since the songs mainly are about the turmoil of growing up and the baggage that we all carry as people.”
Jansson describes the record as “nostalgic, anxious, and exhilarating,” and no three words better capture the emotional volatility, the raw passion, the soaring melodies and the stunning sonics encapsulated in this music.
EP opener “All the Time and Everywhere” hits the ground running with a visceral expression of anxiety – in particular, our yearning to outrun anxiety (rather than making peace with it). “All the time it feels like I’m running on the inside,” Jansson sings, spilling her soul at the starting line. “All the time, it feels like I’m burning in a freak fire. Oh, it makes me wanna do better… Oh, I wish I could feel better…“
Jansson describes it as anxiety following you around like a stray dog. “I wrote this during a period of my life when I was constantly feeling nervous, and being around people I didn’t know made me feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. The feeling turns into an extension of yourself that you wish you could sever it from your body. In the end I guess you’re forced to make peace with it and just deal with life sometimes being an uncomfortable thing.”
I got a friend when it feels like it’s the end
It’ll always be here
I got a friend when it feels like its the end
All the time and everywhere
Anxiety is a big theme in this song, but the music itself isn’t anxious – and therein lies Girl Scout’s magic touch: They capture a world of intimate and intense emotion while still leaving listeners refreshed and energized. It’s a balancing act few artists successfully navigate, and it’s a credit to Girl Scout’s talents that they can dive deep while keeping things light at the same time.
Truth be told, all of Real Life Human Garbage‘s songs are highlights in their own ways. The band’s debut single (and Atwood Editor’s Pick) “Do You Remember Sally Moore?” is a fun, fuzzy, and feverish indie rock singalong – a feel-good, smile-inducing joyride complete with sweeping guitars, charged beats, and achingly expressive vocals that effortlessly capture the tension, turbulence, and turmoil of being a teenager, in high school, with uncontrolled hormones and plenty of crushes to go around. In under three minutes’ time, Girl Scout paint a provocative homage, of sorts, to the “cool kids” we might have crushed on once upon a time, who never knew (and will never know) we had feelings for them – not because they were “somebodies” and we were “nobodies,” but because those kinds of crushes were saved for our daydreams and diaries:
Lately I’ve been looking through the yearbooks
At the faces of all those kids that I used to know
James looked drunk and Kathy had that haircut
Well, she looked like she’d just escaped from a tornado
But there’s one face that I’ll never forget
I know it well enough to draw it
And I remember that I drew a heart
around her name, while crying on the floor
Do you remember Sally Moore?
– “Do You Remember Sally Moore?,” Girl Scout
Favorites are as hard for this writer as they are for the band members themselves. “I think the production on ‘Run Me Over’ really stands out,” Jansson says. “There’s a lot of experimental piano bits that are really cool and we’re super proud of! It sticks out from the other songs as well, and it was so exciting recording it in the studio and playing around with the soundscape. ’Do You Remember Sally Moore?’ was also such a positive experience – I think you can really feel the energy in that song that we felt while recording.”
She’s quick to also add in her personal favorite lyric off the entire record – that same line from “Run Me Over” that cuts deeper than the rest: ”Can you run me over with your car? I wanna be a road that leads far, far away from here.”
Listening to Real Life Human Garbage is as cathartic as it is invigorating: Girl Scout threw their full weight into their debut EP, laying their souls bare and holding nothing back.
While it may sting at first to hear life’s raw realities expressed so passionately in music, Girl Scout’s songs and stories are ultimately little slivers of light – each one a dazzling, dynamic beacon we can look to for comfort and guidance, redemption and release – not to mention a pure adrenaline rush.
“The songs came from a very sincere place, and hopefully people resonate with that,” Jansson shares. “It’s quite an optimistic sounding recording despite the themes, and I think we need that right now. ‘Indie’ has a tendency to take on a very cynical perspective, and while I do think there is nuance in that, I appreciate when pure joy is present in the music.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Girl Scout’s Real Life Human Garbage with Atwood Magazine as Emma Jansson goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of the band’s debut EP!
Satellites and shining stars on a dirty Macbook screen
Could be laying there for hours
going through our trash-talk friend routine
Thirty something episodes with some laughter in between
I haven’t seen that show since we were seventeen
I’m afraid of the ocean
To have the waves come crashing down on me
Still I find myself longing
for the way things used to be
Stream: ‘Real Life Human Garbage’ – Girl Scout
:: Inside Real Life Human Garbage ::
All the Time and Everywhere
It’s a song about the struggle of trying to outrun anxiety. It’s not a very anxious song though, I think making peace with your anxiety is the only sustainable way to deal with it.
Run Me Over
A song about being in your mid twenties and reaching that fork in the road. The one where some people choose to really become a functioning adult, get married and have kids, while others are still out partying every weekend with part-time jobs.
Do You Remember Sally Moore?
Sally is literally a memoir of my time in high school with weird friends, late night parties and crushes that you never dared to talk to. It was co-written with my best friend who I actually met in high school, so all the people mentioned in the song are actually real people (with changed names, of course).
A song about wanting to connect but not feeling able to because you keep getting in your own head.
I wrote Attenborough Beach a bit like a script for a movie, and it came from dreaming up a fictional place in my own head and then kind of spending time there. Sometimes it feels like certain songs just exist in their own universes and writing them is just about hanging out there to see what happens.
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? © Martyna Bannister
:: Stream Girl Scout ::