Subliminal Girls – Vanity Project

Subliminal Girls - Vanity Project - EP cover art

Back in the mid to late 2000s a few Guernsey boys (Jim Rhesus, Danny Le Pelley and Jimmy 2 Shoes), along with a few others, based in London gained a modicum of recognition with a string of banging indie disco singles (highlights being Burn Koko and their take on Duran Duran’s Hungry Like The Wolf) under the name Subliminal Girls.

Now, some 13 years after their heyday, they have returned with a new three track single/EP, Vanity Project.

Released in conjunction with artist Stuart Semple and his new label Gigantic Records, with whom they worked back on their original run, I’m going to be focusing on the music side of the project here now it’s out on streaming platforms, starting with Elector.

Subliminal Girls circa 2008
Subliminal Girls circa 2008

From the off we are thrown back into that indie disco of a decade or so ago but, despite that, it still all sounds fresh and energetic.

Bringing to mind strobing images of dark clubs and after hours city streets it tells a story of a night on the town with an upbeat start that segues to a mellow middle before kicking off again to close on a note that hints there’s more going on here than there once might have been as Jim Rhesus points out that ‘none of this is real’ – a feeling that marks the whole set.

The Tourist kicks off with a big guitar opening which sets the tone for the song, though of course the synths are still there in the background, as it carries on the theme of the first track by telling a story.

Subliminal Girls live in Guernsey in 2007
Subliminal Girls live in Guernsey in 2007

In this case it’s of a kind of weekend romance (though it’s unclear if it’s between people or substances, or a combination) and again feels rooted in that late 2000s hip London indie scene.

With a slower pace but still a big beat the collection is rounded off by You’ll Never Be Saved which continues the throwback storytelling with a hint of something a little melancholy, though that doesn’t really come across in the music.

Subliminal Girls live in 2018 by Paul Maps
Subliminal Girls live in 2018 by Paul Maps

Instead we get an element of psyche thrown in with the indie mix to close things with something a little different but still firmly Subliminal Girls in sound.

This all makes Vanity Project and great trio of songs that could easily feel a little anachronistic but instead are simply more great indie disco tracks from a band already known for it and, even if they may be a bit older and wiser than they once were (with hints of that throughout), it shows Subliminal Girls still have a knack for this kind of thing which is great to hear.

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