Catholic Girls
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Catholic Girls

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Gothic




"Catholic Girls - Sheila Joined a Cult (2014)"

More tape-y goodness from Shake! Records, this time featuring local goth rockers Catholic Girls. Their tumblr claims that they feature "Former members of Mount Analogue, The Poly Shores and The Grim Beat," which gives them some pretty good pedigree. For us, it's the vocal - alternating between goth chanteuse and bubblegum - floating over darkwave synths that makes these guys a pretty great listen. - Calgary Cassette Preservation Society

"Sled Island: Catholic Girls, Hag Face, Skin Colour, Power Trip, June 18, 2014"

Sled Island officially got rolling yesterday with venues hosting more live music than any person could ever take in in one night, but that’s what music festivals are all about.

We decided to ease into our four-day music marathon with a lot of Calgary-based bands, and some Texan thrash metal to wrap up the evening. We caught sets from Catholic Girls, Hag Face, Skin Colour and Dallas’ Power Trip.

Each band, armed with their own unique sound, which included synth-punk, riot grrl-inspired garage rock, and thrash metal, brought their best and proved Calgary (and Dallas) isn’t just a cowboy, honky tonk town (thank god).

- Megan Cole - Rice and Bread Magazine

"2014 Guide to Edmonton Summer Festivals"

Endless Bummer
August 28 – September 1, 2014
Wunderbar, Cha Island, Steel Wheels, Black Dog Freehouse, Filthy McNasty’s and more

Endless Bummer is all about the musical community and showcases a large variety of Edmonton’s talent. This is the second instalment of Endless Bummer, with the first year hosting 75 bands in 10 venues over five days. Shows are affordable, plentiful and feature all types of musical acts. This year, expect to see 100 or so bands on the bill including these out of towners: Powder Blue, Slow Down Molasses, Chronobot, Catholic Girls, Kestrels and Surf Kitties. - Beatroute

"Sled Island Day One Re-cap"

Catholic Girls – Republik

These guys are one of the better bands I’ve seen so far, and definitely the most visually interesting: a drummer who might be Animal from the Muppets reincarnated as a cute farm boy; a keyboardist who looks like an emo kid just getting into black metal; a singer/guitarist who looks like the waitress you’ll tip 15 per cent because she’s clearly too cool to work at State and Main; and a second keyboardist who looks like the history teacher who touched me that one time.

They have songs to back it up: dirty, nasty, fun. For once there were people dancing. You should check them out. (GW) - Beatroute


“I am into juicing,” explains Erin Jenkins, after being asked how she keeps her voice in shape. I assume the Catholic Girls singer/guitarist is talking about extracting nutrients from vegetables, but based on the superhuman screams that punctuate the band’s self-released debut EP, Sheila Joined A Cult, a listener should not be faulted for suspecting Tour de France-levels of performance enhancement.

The Calgary four-piece formed last year in the aftermath the June 2013 flood that displaced three of the four members. Jenkins “literally lost almost everything except a guitar and her minivan.” Singer/synth player Cian Haley had actually been out of music for nearly three years dealing with health issues including a heart transplant surgery that doctors said would leave him unable to speak or sing ever again.

catholic-girls-m2Against the odds, Haley’s voice returned and he was working with long-time collaborator Ted McCormick on some new music when he met Jenkins at a TRST show and the foundation of the band was laid. The trio recruited Galen Colbeck, an established bass/guitar player who essentially learned to play drums for Catholic Girls. As far as origin stories go, not many bands can count catastrophic floods and near-death experiences among the events that led them to where they are, and Jenkins believes the band’s difficult genesis provides motivation.

“We suppose our past influences who we are as people and a band, and for some reason these tragedies/miracles seemed to only fuel us further,” the singer explains, with a positive outlook that contradicts the shadowy themes of the band’s music.

Sheila Joined a Cult is four songs of dark, heavy synth punk that is equal parts accessible and punishing. Heavy, dense and melodic, the EP recalls ’80s new wave and 2000s dance punk. Jenkins’ vocal delivery is especially captivating, as she alternates between cheeky neurosis and unhinged ferocity. The record is intense, and the band has gained a reputation for fantastic live shows and are embarking on a short tour of the West Coast this month.

In Calgary, Catholic Girls will play two shows during the Sled Island Music & Arts Festival, one at the Republik on Wednesday, June 18, the other at the National Music Centre on Friday, June 20. In BC, they perform at Shake/Arama Festival on Thursday, June 26 in Vancouver (venue TBA) and Friday, June 27 at the Copper Owl in Victoria.

By Justin Penney - Beatroute

"Red Hot Catholic Action"

Red hot Catholic action
Catholic Girls and other locals take over The Plaza Theatre
Published January 30, 2014 by Devin Friesen in Music Previews

In hindsight, I should’ve asked the members of Catholic Girls about their band’s name. Not what it means, of course — to quote Bruce Gilbert of Wire from a rather awkward exchange with Suzanne Somers on the The Late Show, 1987: “Nobody takes these things seriously; we were looking for a name that didn’t mean anything.”

While a name like “Catholic Girls” might spur more obvious questions and connotations than “Wire” (as in: there’s only one girl in the band, and Catholicism being an actual thing with this crew strikes me as dubious), I’m more interested in whether or not it was intentional to make discussion of their band sound jokingly sleazy to the uninitiated. Like when I tell my editor, “I’m talking with Catholic Girls this evening. I’ll make sure to get a photo, too.” Overhear somebody say that, and one might be inclined to think, “Whoa, lecherous perv.”

Regardless, the Calgary four-piece has been popping up all over the place these past few months, playing numerous shows in an assortment of venues ranging from laundromats and bars, to theatres and a pizza restaurant. This trend continues on Friday, January 31, with the very welcome occurrence of an all-ages show at the Plaza Theatre. Catholic Girls will perform along with Modern Aquatics, local rockers the Pine Tarts, and semicolon solecists If I Look Strong; You Look Strong.

Knowing the members’ prior bands (vocalist/guitarist Erin Jenkins has fronted the Poly Shores and Seahorse; keyboardist Cian Haley played guitar in Mount Analogue), there’s a knee-jerk urge to also consider Catholic Girls on the post-punk axis. Perhaps it’s the setup of two synthesizers alongside guitar and drums; perhaps it’s Jenkins’ unexpected shifts from sass to blood-curdling banshee queen (listening to a rough mix of “Beast” in the car, even her bandmates remark, “Did you hold that scream the whole time? Whoa!”), and perhaps it’s because I had recently listened to that new Killed By Death Rock compilation, but I had to ask the band about its feelings about “death rock” — a sound poised somewhere between post-punk and goth, scratchy and theatric; the type of thing one might associate with the likes of Alien Sex Fiend or Rudimentary Peni.

“That’s what I listened to growing up,” Haley says of the subgenre. “More than any other band in the past, that influence is coming out here.”

The band’s first recordings, done with Ryan Sadler at Theatre Junction Grand, make this clearer: in lieu of bass, duelling synthesizers mingle with the guitar in providing texture as much as melody. With the natural reverb of the theatre, Galen Colbeck’s drums pound with nigh-industrial depth — perhaps not a full-on Neubauten construction zone, but a muscular, thud-solid anchor nonetheless.

More collectively, one can chalk up an interest in horror films in defining the band’s influences. David Lynch’s name pops up immediately when I ask about favourite directors, and Haley mentions that the band have performed to Eraserhead.

The band hopes to issue its first four recorded songs on a couple of releases this year, discussing ideas for a potential split release and 7-inch.

“I think everyone [in the band] has a mild amount of ADHD, because we are constantly writing new music — and then playing it before we probably should. But it works, for the most part,” Haley explains.

“Usually…” Jenkins trails off.

What else is there to add? A tidbit about how the band formed?

“We made a drunken vow to start a band that actually worked out, which is pretty rare,” Jenkins says.

“That’s a boring answer, but that’s the truth,” says Haley.

See? I told you band names and all that “meaning” nonsense was banal. - FFWD Calgary

"Chicas católicas y música satánica"

Chicas católicas y música satánica, pocas combinaciones son tan divertidas y seductoras. Catholic Girls es una banda de synthpunk de Calgary con un sonido crudo y agitado que se antoja para una fiesta en una casa abandonada. Su EP Sheila Joined A Cult es un compilado de música de baja fidelidad que va del clash al gótico en un instante. La música de Catholic Girls es más divertida que imponente, es el acompañamiento perfecto para una noche que terminará con algunas botellas rotas y recuerdos perdidos. ¿Les gusta? - Lifeboxset


Get your weekend going with Calgary’s Catholic Girls. Their EP ‘Sheila Joined a Cult` is a crazy blast of goth punk wave. It`s kinda like having Le Tigre over for a sleepover and watching cheesy sci fi movies. - Ride the Tempo

"Music YYC"

Formed in February of 2013, Catholic Girls is made up of former members of past Calgary bands such as Mount Analogue, The Poly Shores, and The Grim Beat.

Since the bands first show at Commonwealth for the BIG YYC Festival in July of 2013, the four-piece has been playing countless shows in a variety of venues ranging from laundromats, bars, and houses, to theatres, an abandoned building, and a pizza restaurant.

The bands sound could best be described as synthpunk, with Cian Haley and Ted McCormick currently working with four synthesizers, and singer Erin Jenkins’ vocals being described as “unexpected shifts from sass to blood-curdling banshee queen…duelling synthesizers mingle with the guitar in providing texture as much as melody… Galen Colbeck’s drums pound with nigh-industrial depth…” Devin Friesen, FFWD Weekly -

"Catholic Girls - Sheila Joined a Cult"

Shake! Records

Catholic Girls scream out a mergence of new-wave goth synthpunk in their latest album, Sheila Joined A Cult, released on June 26th on cassette, as part of SHAKE/ARAMA’s “Summer Shake” series. With only four tracks, the mind is given to archaic impulses born of the ‘80s and ‘90s punk heyday, with special tribute to the atmospheric drive of Calgary’s own throwback scene. Shameless cult followers and blood-spewing punk rockers alike are invited to shed their snakeskin under the pale moonlit high of such a force field as created under the spell of Catholic Girls. It’s about throwing down the torch and lighting the place on fire, as for the last time, heaving the crazed pandemonium up in the ultimate bonfire of sonic rebellion.

Sheila Joined A Cult breaks down the sheer superficies from the parade of life, and instils a brand new temptation to self-liberation from mindless waste. The rawness breathes with a mesmerizing focus, welcoming failure, lust, and pride like a fever dream under the blur of dance club lights. - Beatroute

"New Canadiana - Catholic Girls - Sheila Joined a Cult"

From the creature features of Matthew Blenkarn:

Catholic Girls’ Sheila Joined A Cult evokes a late-night TV binge from another era. The piercing synths and mechanical beats on ”Daddy Hunting” bring to mind old science-fiction creature features, cutting through your consciousness like some forbidden signal on cathode ray tubes. The eight-bit throb on “Beast” sounds like a blinking spaceship console made of Christmas lights and tin foil. “American Scream” and closer “Hysteria” are all reckless charge and giddy thrills. Like the best fright-night marathons, Sheila Joined A Cult carries a foreboding allure and enough fun to keep you going all night long. - Weird Canada

"Catholic Girls - Sheila Joined a Cult"

Catholic Girls – Sheila Joined a Cult Cassette (Shake! Records)
The title of the record may give off the impression that this is going to be some kind of silly band that’s not taking itself too seriously, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Calgary, Alberta’s Catholic Girls discharge a thrilling blend of guitars riding a tsunami of keyboards that produce pulsating blasts of shadowy sound encircled by chaos, darkness and urgency that has slivers of new wave, post punk, and lo-fi madness lodged throughout. I get a similar feel when I hear bands like Lost Sounds or The Faint. This is Catholic Girls debut release, can’t wait to see how much further into the abyss this band goes on their next records. ~ J Castro - Audio Ammunition

"5 Questions for Catholic Girls"

ARTIST NAME: Catholic Girls
INTERVIEWEE: Catholic Girls

1. What's your favourite thing about a festival like NXNE?

Seeing other bands play and commiserating with them afterwards over many beers. There are so many different personalities and points of view in the music scene, and some really subversive people. No one is boring.

2. What should we expect from your live show?

If you like synthesizers, Gary Numan and the colour black, this will be your jam.

3. Tell us something we probably don't know about your band.

We're actually totally normal people.

4. If you could write the soundtrack for any existing film (from any decade) which film would you choose and what would the songs sound like?

Probably something directed by Roman Polanski like Repulsion. We would give it more of an 80's vibe though. Our music would also work well for a slasher movie, which is something we've talked about doing before and would really like to do. If you need a soundtrack for your slasher film, get in touch!

5. Would you rather open for Neil Young or Bruce Springsteen, and why?

That is a tough choice that we will probably never have to make. But if we have to choose, we'd go with Neil. He is a pretty impressive guy. And we're searching for father figures. - Spill Magazine


'Sheila Joined a Cult' (released May 2014)



"…unexpected shifts from sass to blood-curdling banshee queen…synthesizer and guitar providing texture as much as melody…drums [that] pound with nigh industrial strength…" -FFWD Weekly

Catholic Girls formed over a brief late-night conversation after an unexpected re-connection between Cian Haley (Mount Analogue) and Erin Jenkins (The Poly Shores/Seahorse). After having recovered from a near-death experience that almost ended Cian's ability to ever make music again, the pair recruited long-time collaborator Ted McCormick and later, drummer Matt Blanchard (The Pine Tarts) to begin developing synth-driven, 80's and 90's influenced punk music. Melodic, catchy synth lines blend with textured guitar and pounding drums, recalling new wave and goth favourites like Lost Sounds, The Chameleons, Gary Numan and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Their first EP Sheila Joined a Cult was released in 2014 by Shake! records (Victoria) and charted in the top 10 on numerous college stations across Canada.  The band have played notable festivals such as Sled Island, Pop Montreal and Shake/arama in 2014 and will be appearing at Electric Eye Fest, NXNE and Ottawa Explosion in 2015. They have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with some of Canada's most notable acts, including Viet Cong, Teledrome, Rhythm of Cruelty, Born Gold, Renni Wilson, Brazillian Money, Hag Face, Soupcans and a new project from Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade), called The Operators. With their second EP Psychic Woman out on Shake! records in June of 2015, which will be supported by a second Canadian tour for the band, Catholic Girls are poised to be major influencers of Canada's synth-punk scene. Catholic Girls turns tragedy into art, religion into punk music and reflects back the violence and cult-like adherence to a lack of critical thought in society in a way that is transformational and totally exciting.

"'Sheila Joined A Cult' breaks down the sheer superficies from the parade of life, and instils a brand new temptation to self-liberation from mindless waste. The rawness breathes with a mesmerizing focus, welcoming failure, lust, and pride like a fever dream under the blur of dance club lights." -Beatroute

Band Members