It’s not rare for a pair of lovers to come together to create an art piece that represents their personalities and ideas in one form. However, it is rare for them to create a piece that’s explicitly raw with little held back. GirlyBoi is an addictively sensual duo composed of Carly Russ and Joseph Matick whose artistry does not adhere to one medium.
They are one of those young couples ambitious enough to blindly follow the romantic idea of quitting their jobs and writing/recording an album in Paris/UK. They soon after signed modeling and talent agency contracts, all before anyone had heard a song. Frustrated by the fact, that they were being “packaged,” the songwriting was fueled by the pop bullshit they tried to escape in the states and ultimately created their sound; moody, organic, psychedelic, and folky. After traveling through France and experiencing the highs and lows of their whimsical lifestyle, the lovers released a short film titled “Masculintimacy” serving as a taste of their style. Over the summer they have released two songs, “Whole” and “Actually Woman”, that experiments with their concept of naked sensualism and takes on beauty. They built a team in Europe and quickly began playing shows in Berlin and London’s Shoreditch House. Frank Ocean was a guest of honor at the latter intimate performance. They take to the woods to record vocals and strip themselves of the “romanticized idea” they fell for to create an honest, unpacking of a young couple thrown into an industry few people know how to navigate. Luckily, for girlyboi everything has been unfolding naturally. Actually, like an actual woman. They’ve been featured recently in wonderland, bullet, boycott issue 3 and are in the upcoming issue of Notion.
Girlyboi is probably not the first name you guys came up with, what were the other options you guys had come up with?
J: I really wanted “Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamboat” and Carly was like “nahh”
“Girlyboi” sounds like a boy band or something so we were like “Cool. We’ll do that but hit people with a sound they’re not anticipating.”
Your aesthetic is very raw, in many of your images and the last two songs you two have released it’s a clear representative of your artistry. Why did you guys decide to make it so raw and vulnerable?
The industry can be vapid. It just makes sense to represent yourself as honestly as possible. Putting up a front takes so much effort.
For Whole, your voice echoes and creates momentum in the song that carries the melody it slowly builds behind, is there a concept behind the song?
Momentum…I like that. Yeah that song came from elsewhere. A lot of the lyrics were placeholders that ended up in the final, but essentially I wrote it from the perspective of like the demon on your shoulder. Like the voice you shouldn’t be listening to. But then Carly sings like the angel on the other shoulder. The other voice. There’s beauty in that contrast.
The song is quite beautiful itself and the shrieking at the end cuts through the smoothness clearly, breaking the smoothness. What was your reasoning for adding that?
I think there’s like this ethereal vastness to the woods, especially at night. So we recorded some yelling and shouting in the woods. It’s got like a “cabin burning down” feel. But that’s nice because everyone’s warm afterwards.
Your latest song, Actual woman is a very ambient song- a bit spine tingling. Does the title reference your time modeling in Paris?
Carly, have you ever sang any before this project?
I’ll let you take this one Car. But yes, we wrote this in Paris. And it’s just about…ya know, being “real” haha. Go for it.
C: The song is just a big reference for the overall direction. We just wanted to break people in slowly to this ambient environment we’re creating. Thats why it was such a perfect first single. In Paris, we were uninfluenced by pop culture. We had relatively little internet, no TV/radio. It helped everything happen organically.
C:- Regarding music, I grew up singing in Choir and i did some stuff in high school competitively. But when i met Joe he asked me to do this with him and i was immediately like…….no thanks. And then things changed. Which leads into your next question…
I read you, Joseph, had asked Carly a few times to sing before she agreed. Carly, what finally gave you the motivation to produce with him?
C:-There was a really specific moment i realized that I can’t not make music with Joe. It’s uncovering all of these layers to our reality. Making and releasing this music is like watching your baby grow up. It’s really a feeling i won’t ever be able to describe to anyone. Unless you have a baby, or like make music haha. Then I don’t have to. When you know you know.