The queen of slacker-pop bangers is back with the release of her follow-up to 2019 EP, Everything Is Dogs, and it’s all killer, no filter.
Photo credit: Rebecca Need-Menear (http://www.rebeccaneedmenear.co.uk)
Lauran Hibberd has returned with her new EP, Goober, a six-track collection aptly named after a slang word used by classic cartoon character, SpongeBob SquarePants, an affectionate term for a fool, in some way contradicting how well structured the new EP is, but fitting in nicely with some of the themes toyed with within the tracks.
Goober opens with a track that boasts arguably the best title for a song ever, to the extent that its absolutely brilliant hearing radio presenters introduce it on air. Bleugh, a semi-spoken word, punchy song oozing pure attitude, with its unforgettable chorus and fuzz induced lead guitar and possibly the most Lauran Hibberd feature: humorous lyricism (“we’re not getting married, we’re not having babies, we’re not getting a dog, getting a dog.”) It has a real festival tune feel.
With the same catchy chorus that feels as though it has been made solely for the big crowds that Lauran is now beginning to pull in, is Old Nudes, a track that presents Hibberd’s natural storytelling at its full potential, proving it to be a skill that she has a real knack for. The storytelling on this EP as a whole is very different to that of legendary pop-star, Taylor Swift, as there is absolutely no ambiguity, giving the allusion that you are listening to an old friend fill you in on the latest gossip, reflecting Lauran Hibberd’s very down-to-earth and relatable character, of whom gives off these very strong best friend material vibes (look no further than her Instagram stories).
Track three, How Am I Still Alive?, makes the most mundane and bleak situation sound entertaining in a song that celebrates getting through the day, something that has become even more accomplished in the past year, and hears Hibberd team up with The Regrettes’ Lydia Night, alternating between verses, whilst Boy Bye exhibits a real sense of confidence, but at the same time is incredibly self-deprecating (“You're lucky that I hate myself enough to give you everything that I set up”) on the verses, before building up to the incredibly exhilarating chorus. This particular track also features the most badass line-up of artists in its official music video (singer-songwriters, Zuzu and Jerry Williams and drummer Louise Bartle) and its definitely worth checking out (I’m so good to you that you can do so below…)
The transition from Boy Bye to Crush is really smooth, jumping from one track about moving on with petty undertones, to celebrating what it is to be young and naïve (“I’m drinking Coca Cola from a wine glass” – I think I just enjoyed this line because of how specific it is to my own life. When does alcohol start to taste nice [asking for a friend]?)
Closer, You Never Looked So Cool, a track given its first spin on Jack Saunders’s Radio 1 Indie Show last night (29/07/21), takes a slightly different musical direction to those heard previously, with its more ballad styling that offers up a heart-felt and sincere moment, but not so different that it sticks out within Hibberd’s immaculate discography – its resonant to Everything Is Dogs’ closer, Shark Week. It’s really beautiful with its slow, reverbed up guitar elements and more toned-down lyrics that kick all prior jokes aside (but not so much as to take away the conversational elements that Lauran Hibberd exemplifies best).
As a whole, Goober is a fun, uplifting and incredibly amusing release, thanks to its snappy choruses and Lauran’s witty lyricism, however, the tracks don’t appear to flow between one another as well as they could. Maybe this is because I personally spent the majority of the past year streaming the EP’s singles to the extent that they’re now familiar to me as stand-alone numbers, but this slight lack in production does not ultimately take away from the content and substance of the collection, as each track works really well independently.
In short, Goober is full of bangers itching to be added to your favourite playlists, and Lauran Hibberd is an artist that you need to have on your radar, as she still has so much more to give.