Kickstart my rock 'n' roll heart: Girlfriends

I’m an unabashed fan of Kickstarter, a site where creative types pitch projects for friends, family and complete strangers to help fund. I’ve helped fund a few projects here and there, and the platform Kickstarter has on its hands manifests the same kind of inquisitive state that can lead to spending hours on the site. Like any good social networking site, Kickstarter’s developed the kind of Web site where people will click through page after page after page, seeking out the little nooks and crannies of our creative cultural output.

I’ve been there, and I’ve enjoyed using Kickstarter to find new bands, new musical projects in the works and just about anything that may catch my eye.

Like the Portland band Girlfriends. Stumbling across this one-man band was perhaps one of the best finds I’ve come across on the site. Jerry Joiner, the man behind Girlfriends, has a fantastic musical voice. Many musicians spend years trying to create a unique sound that reflects their artistic yearnings, but Joiner makes it seem effortless.

Just take a listen to the group’s 2009 self-titled album. With just 11 tracks, Joiner managed to produce an energetic and caustic mix of post-hardcore, mathy indie and emo, with a healthy mix of electronics thrown into a great wave of angular instrumentation. While some bands tend to get caught up in the science of angular music, creating tunes that seem bereft of a certain emotional element, Joiner injects a great deal of poppiness into his tunes. At times, Girlfriends is a little reminiscent of Foals before that band tried to go ambient. And that’s not a bad thing: It’s exciting, and makes for a great listen.

And now Joiner needs help. He’s trying to wrangle up a little money so he can record a new Girlfriends album. His Kickstarter campaign has almost met its goal of $275, and with less than a week left, Joiner needs a little boost. If Joiner’s campaign doesn’t reach its goal, the project won’t get funded (it’s an underlying rule for all Kickstarter campaigns.)

So, if you’ve got some extra cash laying around and like what Joiner is doing, check out his Kickstarter campaign and see what incentives he’ll give you if you pledge $1, $5, $10 or $20. And head over to Bandcamp to listen and download the first Girlfriends album: It’s pay what you want. But, if you want more of this music, I suggest helping pay for the new album. It might just sound a little better knowing you’ve helped out.

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