Revulva is an interesting fusion of soul, pop and jazz made up of eight members who know their instruments like the back of their hands. Based in Wellington, the band has been growing a collection of songs about what it is like to be a woman navigating life and the music industry, which have now been collated into an album titled ‘Girl’s Gotta Eat’.
Revulva’s eight musical connoisseurs are Phoebe Johnson, Lily Rose Shaw, Hector McLachlan, Zane Hawkins, Toby Leman, Hugo Olsen-Smith, Hayden Richardson, and Olivia Campion. Full of fantastically intriguing titles that indicate it’s going to be bursting with uniqueness before the music has even started playing, this album is a wild ride of honest commentary on the realities of being a woman.
‘Girl’s Gotta Eat’ starts with One Puff Wonder, the third single released from this album. It is imaginable what the lyrics suggest the character is puffing on. The jazzy keys, breathy vocals and stabby brass breaks encapsulate the laid-back part of Revulva’s sound, and it feels like they’ve chosen to start the album off with a track that’s a little more easy-listening than some of the others.
Stop Pulling On My (Hair) opens up a world of funk, with a fast-paced repeating bass line under a drum pattern featuring a series of hand claps. This song is infectious, when played live it’d be impossible not to abandon seats to get up and boogie.
Sniffly Lady is outstanding relatable, and hilarious. How has no one written a song about allergies before? It probably sounds mind-numbingly dull as a topic, but Revulva has done the many hayfever-burdened people proud with this track. Featuring some particularly resonating lyrics such as “She’s a sniffly lady, antihistamine popping baby” and “Is that a pocket full of tissues or are you just happy to see me?” This song is ironic and lyrically engaging, all while still being musically flavourful.
Bringing the energy back down to chill-ville, Two And I’m Under features a spoken word verse. But although it starts small, it still backs a vibey punch with a faster groove in the second half full of tasty brass melodies. This song wraps up in just over two minutes, a rather good tactic to leave a wanting for more just in time for the album’s final track.
Blood might be the most iconic song of the album. It is simply about periods. Fitting for the theme of womanhood, it deserves a bit of recognition. The music is jazzy, catchy and rhythmically interesting, but the real hard hitter has to be the subject. Alongside Sniffly Lady, it is another one of those topics that leaves a hmmming over why something so common, maybe even almost as much as love, is talked about so little.
Musically, this album is full of well-composed melodies that come together to form a delicious melting pot of jazz, pop, and soul. The eight musicians don’t overpower each other but find their gaps and work together like a well-oiled public transport system to get the listener from one side of the album to the other. Revulva’s consistent focus with their music is in topic and lyrics. It feels like they use music for a few of its fundamental purposes, talking about things they think need to be talked about, making sweet, sweet sounds and having fun without much of a care for pleasing the general public.