Thursday, 19 April 2012

Farewell, SoundGirl...

Earlier today, girlband SoundGirl announced via Twitter (because everything usually seems to be announced there these days) that they were splitting up. Those precious few of us who paid attention to what the band did had kind of suspected it for a while, considering how pretty much zilch news had come out from their camp in months, and their single releases had flopped without trace.

Here's what they had to say:

So we've decided that we're all going to go our separate ways!! Were all going to be doing our own music and starting our own adventures. But don't worry we're all still really good friends, that hasnt changed and we wanna Thankyou all for supporting us your the best fans ever!

Which is pretty standard as far as pop 'we're calling it a day' affairs go these days.

It's a shame really, because like so many of the other girl bands to falter over the past year (Oh My! and Wonderland come to mind), their was real potential to SoundGirl. With Miranda off of Xenomania on board, there was a real pop niche audience on from the outset, and support slots for Pixie Lott helped circulate them in broader teen circles too. SoundGirl certainly weren't without fans - their 30,000+ Twitter followers testify to that. They even garnered a fair bit of radio airplay for what will now go down as their 'most well known track', Don't Know Why - both Radio 1 and 1Xtra supported it to a degree not afforded to the two other aforementioned acts, so why did it all go wrong for SoundGirl?

Perhaps people subconsciously deemed them too similar to the Sugababes? Or maybe - in a world where Little Mix had yet to win the X Factor - they looked to young and preppy. Whatever the reasons were, their five track album sampler - which we thankfully received a copy of - will now go down as their only 'bulk' contribution to the world of popular music. And here's the thing that we always think is a bit of a shame, that the general public at large will never get to hear these tracks - indeed, if they're not leaked in any form, the fans won't hear them either. Those people for which the band meant most, in a way, miss out of the most crucial part of the band - the music.

And as sampler's go - SoundGirl's was top notch. I'm The Fool and Don't Know Why were the kind of perfectly self-contained teen-pop anthems that harked back to a more innocent age, when we were all bopping along to the likes of Billie Piper and rushing home from school to watch CBBC. But SoundGirl were also more than that - they might have been young, but they switched it up with a bite of street-smart edginess that spoke to their fans, saying: 'You can be like us, you can be cool!'. And SoundGirl were cool - or at least we think so. Unreleased numbers Something To Dream About and Planes In The Sky also offered a more mature side to the group; heartfelt, elegant tracks that wouldn't have sounded out of place on an All Saints effort. They were even pencilled in on singles release schedules for quite some time, but kept getting pushed back into the ether until it became evident they would never see release.

For the most part, the passing of SoundGirl into that boundless space of pop afterlife that all departed groups inhabit will go by without much ceremony or lamentation. Indeed, the curse of all groups that split up before they ever really 'make it' is that to the record buying public at large, they never really did exist in any form at all - it's like the old cliche of trees falling soundlessly in a forest. But to us pop fans that did take SoundGirl to heart, they will, at the very least remain as a touchingly remembered footnote on the year 2011.

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