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A lot of indie tastemakers dismissed Ariel Pink's lo-fi collage-pop freakery as nothing more than novelty blah when Animal Collective started raving about the Beverly Hills brat in 2003. But the joke is now on all them hipsters who dissed the dude. Each year indie pop produces more and more acolytes of Mr. Pink. One of the more hyped groups is San Francisco's Girls. Led by former Children of God cult member Christopher Owens (who spent a good chunk of his childhood totally isolated from modern pop culture), Girls are less concerned with the freakery than the lo-fi pop. After dropping a slew of delicious singles in 2008 and early '09, the group's debut album, titled simply Album, came out on the indie imprint True Panther Sounds. It proceeded to crack the Billboard 200. At first blush, mainstream success seems really quite improbable, but beneath the fuzz and f-bombs (Owens curses quite a lot, in fact) lurks a genuine and well-informed love for vintage bubblegum (Tommy James) and pub rock (Elvis Costello). In this sense Girls owe as much to Outrageous Cherry or the Clientele as they do Ariel Pink.
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