Girls’ Chris Owens Quits
It was great while it lasted, that’s all I can say. The world got three great years out of Northern California-based (but Southern California sounding) band Girls. Monday, July 2, 2012, Girls’ frontman and primary songwriter Christopher Owens announced he was leaving the band. The major announcement came via Twitter no less. Either Owens is growing shyer by the day, or Twitter has established itself as a valid means in announcing the breakup of your band.
In a statement, Owens said the following, “Dear all, This may come as a surprise to many & has been an issue of much thought for me. My decision was not easy to make. I am leaving Girls. My reasons at this time are personal. I need to do this in order to progress. I will continue to write & record music. More will be announced soon. I thank you all for everything. Sincerely–Christopher.”
As a fan of the band, it comes as a surprise because of Owens’ back-story, as Girls seemed like it was his backbone. Owens grew up in a religious cult with his parents. Eventually, he broke the confines of the cult’s grasp and became a homeless teen in the San Francisco Bay Area where a millionaire man who nurtured Owens’ talents took him in. Some years later Owens started Girls with fellow bassist/producer JR White.
Since the band’s inception, they have garnered a massive amount of praise for their debut album Album and its follow-up Father, Son, Holy Ghost. If Brian Wilson had a nasally voice, didn’t mind dropping the occasional F-bomb, and threw just a little distortion on his guitar, then the Beach Boys would have been a close approximation of Girls.
The future of Girls seems to be sealed, but I could be wrong. In terms of sound, White is of equal importance as Owens. Being the producer, he found a way of capturing the classic 60s beach sound like few producers can. That being said, I can’t see White carrying on Girls without Owens on the mic. While Owens certainly doesn’t have a voice as uniquely powerful as someone like Tom Gabel of Against Me! (and now time will tell if his voice will be the same), Owens’ songwriting prowess carries a weird, somewhat uncomfortable honesty that is a rare thing today.
If there is one piece of good news that came out of Owens’ announcement, it’s that he continues to keep writing music. It’s a weird day in music.