Polly-Louisa Salmon or Girlfriend of The Year is perhaps the most subversive personality to emerge from the PC Music label. Her nihilistic deliveries and boisterous lyrics fit gawkily into sporadic seizure-evoking production. Released a week after Taylor Swift dropped a project consisting of soulless self-endorsements, GFOTY does the same thing but adds soul and personality in abundance.
GFOTYBUCKS, her debut full length – is 19 tracks of anarchistic lunacy. A postmodern cut-up that constantly mutates, fusing together vast moments of spontaneity. Polly mends fractured melodies and choruses that have no business coexisting. Personifying narcissism while entrenched within schizophrenic tendencies, GFOTY alternates between a Mean Girl ‘plastic’ persona and that of a loveable BFF.
The record is billed as a ‘hits’ collection, consisting of reworked material unreleased tracks and covers of artists such as Blink-182, Carly Simon, Toni Braxton and Peter Andre. GFOTYBUCKS is an idiosyncratic compilation bolstered by textural influx, a quirk which bleeds through the track list while compartmentalized in ‘Lemsip’ and ‘Poison’. Morphing from bedroom power pop to heavily distorted hard rock in an impromptu fashion.
All though boasting some of the most eccentric production in the artist’s career, the record is still encased in satirical bravado which she’s both loved and hated for. The irony here is at times difficult to decipher, you could contemplate for hours as to which tracks are straight-faced and which are parodies and come to a conclusion on either side of the spectrum. Whether it be the lines like “walking down the street in my brand new car” or the 8-bit sounding festive cut “Christmas day”.
The premise of the project alone is as preposterous its zaniest moments. it doesn’t need to be stated that a GFOTY best of in 2017 is absurd considering she emerged four years ago, but it only serves as an ode to the character herself, The caricature of the modern pop icon mixed with the 21st century consumerist. “Got the cash, I’ll spend it”.
Although a hits collection isn’t the most appealing prospect, the juxtaposition of familiar tracks and erratic new material gives the album a constant air of uncertainty. The record fittingly closes with perhaps the most pivotal track in the stratosphere of the PC Music scene. ‘Friday Night’ definitely doesn’t hone the pristine ultra-futuristic production synonymous with the label. Admittedly the instrumentation borders on terrible, however lyrically and vocally it encapsulates one of the most exciting scenes of the decade in three minutes. Filled with tongue and cheek sex references, glammed up club life and hyper femininity.
At this point, it’s safe to say that Girlfriend of The year has hit an artistic peak. GFOTYBUCKS wraps up the themes and drama her previous output touched on, and expands on the flourishes of brilliance they displayed while provoking the ears in the desensitized world.
Words by Aimee Armstrong