Near the beginning of Lady Bird, the 2017 Oscar-nominated movie, Lady Bird, the main character, attends mass at her Catholic high school and we hear a bit of a homily that sets the tone for the rest of the movie: “We’re afraid of what the future will bring. We’re afraid we won’t get into the college of our choice, we’re afraid we won’t be loved, we won’t be liked, we won’t succeed,” the priest says. As the movie unfolds, these fears are echoed and we watch the protagonist cope with the painful twangs of growing pains.
Kicking-off with a Lady Bird-inspired song, the debut EP from gullet, an Ottawa-based trio comprised of Kate Thornley, Hannah Judge, and Etta Gerrits, likewise winces with growing pains. The trio’s pop-rock can puncture sharply like a spring poking out of the couch in a dorm’s common room but it can also be as soft as a cotton candy sky the morning after an adventurous night out. The bright xylophone melody on opener “ladybird” helps to make the track as effervescent as a stolen tall call. The track is also an all too relatable portrait of what happens when a movie cuts too close to home.
On the rest of gullet! the trio navigates the difficult terrains of relationships, going to class, and financial woes. On the soft-punk track “school sux,” the band outline their battles and sing: “I wanna grow up. I wanna throw up. I feel like a fuck up.” The bleary fast-paced track “supine” is also punctuated with acidic emotions, this time caused by a person who should stay an arm’s length away.
gullet! is a dazzling debut EP. It’s a friend for those who are going through the rough patch that often accompanies early adulthood and a reminder for those on the other side of how far you’ve come.