girlfriends’ new album, (e)motion sickness, is a pop-punk masterpiece designed to get you right in your feels.
girlfriends is made up of Travis Mills and Nick Gross, and their album, out today, consists of 14 emotional songs tracking the ups and downs of relationships and the triumphs and pitfalls of being a hopeless romantic, all while making fun of the drama we sometimes inadvertently add to our own lives. We got the chance to chat with the duo all about (e)motion sickness, their favorite tracks and what makes them so special as a duo.
Sweety High: What does the album title (e)motion sickness mean to you?
Travis Mills: It’s the perfect description of how I’ve been feeling over the last two years. Struggling with an emotional duality that forces one to overthink, overreact, underappreciate and look at the world in harsh contrast. It’s poking fun at my tendency to be dramatic. How my guilty pleasure is self-expression, me saying to myself, “We get it… you’re sad.”
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SH: What do you feel are the overarching themes of the album? What kind of feel do you hope fans take away from it?
Travis: It’s the soundtrack to heartbreak. Anthemic love letters for a generation of hopeless romantics.
SH: There are some really big contrasts between the feelings that the songs on this album evoke. How do you balance those ups and downs and still make the album feel cohesive as a whole?
Nick Gross: I think that was definitely a goal of ours with this album. We realized we didn’t have a lot of slower songs on our debut album or mid-tempo songs and wanted to just expand our writing and creativity and try new lanes. We thought a lot about the flow of this album and how certain songs blend into each other and create a continuous listening experience from start to finish. We weren’t really thinking about that with our first album as much as we did with (e)motion sickness. I’m a huge fan of creating an experience through our music, both on the records we make and how those songs translate into a live environment. The production on this album is definitely elevated and we’re super excited for fans and new fans to hear it.
Sometimes it’s hard to plan for an album to be completely cohesive, but as you work on more music you naturally start to hear how certain songs could blend well with others on an album. The more music you have the easier it is to find the right fits. We made certain song selections on our album that made the cut based on how we felt they blend into each other as a collective body of work, which is pretty interesting. I’ve always loved piecing together our albums, it’s a puzzle that somehow always comes together. Also, we recognized early on that we needed to write slower songs because we had so much high-tempo stuff. A problem that happens often when we’re at John Feldmann’s house drinking too much coffee…
SH: How did this collaboration come to be? Would you say that you each had specific roles in its creation?
Nick: Travis is a master at lyrics and melodies, and I’ve been blessed with a musical ear so I put a lot of the tracks together and play most of the instruments you hear on our albums. It’s a really awesome yin and yang to girlfriends and makes the music-making process pretty seamless.
SH: What are your favorite songs on the album? Why?
Nick: One of my favorites on the album is “Toothbrush,” the lead-off track. The energy of the song is on another level and the parts of the song are just so cool. I’m really excited to play this one live. I’d say my second favorite song would be “Pretty Mouth” because of the lyrics in that song. Travis really nailed it that day…
SH: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nick: Come to a girlfriends show!
Want to know what else we’re listening to this week? Click HERE to read our interview with Summy on her new track “Said It After.”