Austin, Texas, USA

What happens when Violent Femmes get in a bar fight with Ben Folds Five! Texas-based producer, engineer, & collaborator Andy Sharp (Sheryl Crow, Toadies, Blue October, Mates of State, Scabs, Ariel Abshire, Kissinger) launches his first solo effort with a band full of Austin veterans.


Like the nerdy kid at a middle school dance, girling will follow you around, dance too close, and leave sweaty handprints on the back of your shirt.

 With beautifully hurtful lyrics and smart, tongue-in-cheek arrangements, the newcomer Austin-based band incarnates the human experiences that make you squirm and the scabs you love to pick. 

Their music has all the urgency, rawness, and gut-wrenching melody of fellow alternative pop rock bands Bright Eyes, Violent Femmes, Ben Folds Five, and XTC.

 So go on: Sprinkle salt in wounds and enjoy.

 girling is a long time coming. Its stories and sound have been incubating for years in the brain of acclaimed producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Sharp, whose engineering credits include the Toadies, Sheryl Crow, Spoon, and Blue October. The songs finally clawed their way to daylight with the help of Sharp’s friends and kindred musical spirits: former Kissinger drummer Rusty Zagst, Milton Mapes and Monahan’s guitarist Jim Fredley, bassist Jason DeCuir, and Joe Gassman on keys.

 As a result, girling fuses the tight chops, strategic composition, and wry sensibility of long-time bandmates with all the verve of a magnum opus.

 And while their debut songs about friends (good or bad) is catchy and clever, that’s not the point. Its characters are. Behold the stood-up bicycle date [my ride]; the too-ardent wooer [ToGetHer(t)]; and the spouse you can only get rid of by drinking yourself to death [leaving you. drowning.].

 These prickly, uncomfortably relatable stories are offered up in Sharp’s heartbreaking vocals and drilled home with big instrumentation – pushy guitar; huge drums; brilliant bass; and the driving, Thanksgiving pageant piano that forms the glue of the album. Guest artists add gravitas and complexity on background vocals, horns, and strings. 

 In 2016 girling released their self titled follow up to songs about friends on Austin Texas based Nine Mile Records to critical acclaim, regional touring, and a growing fan base.  2017 is poised to be a breakout year for the band.  With the help of long time collaborator and producer John Croslin (Spoon, Guided by Voices, The Reivers), the band is set to release two back-to-back EP’s for Nine Mile to carry them through the new year and beyond.  

 In the end, the pieces come together for a musical catalogue that will make your eyes water. Sometimes the nerd does get the girl.


Austin Chronicle Review:
Girling 'Songs About Friends (Good and Bad)'

Songs About Friends (Good and Bad)
Fronted by producer/composer Andy Sharp, Girling emerged in the early Aughts as a side project to local nebbish pop kingpins Kissinger. More than a decade later, Songs About Friends resonates with the spirit of that era, the key difference being Sharp's sonic acumen. Arrangements that transcend the pop-punk pedigree give uncommon heft to a bumper crop of scrappy sentiments. "Shitstorm" festoons its crunched-up hooks with artful bursts of strings that add cinematic weight to clever wordplay about crazy young love doomed to go south. "I promise not to break your heart," Sharp deadpans. "I'm much more into legs and arms." The horn-driven "I Hate Chicago" turns relationship woes into a brightly lit, dark-humored broadside against the Windy City itself. Embarrassing? Perhaps. Like Nick Hornby's most memorable characters, Girling's bewildered man/boy protagonist is eminently relatable, even at his most cringeworthy.

Impaler Speaks Review:
Girling - Songs About Friends (Good And Bad)

Girling is Andy Sharp, Rusty Zagat, Jason Decuir, and Joe Gassman. Girling is a fairly new addition to the Austin music scene. Girling is described as sounding ‘like a bar fight between Ben Folds Five and the Violent Femmes’ at its ReverbNation page. Girling is… well, pretty damn incredible.

My easy-way-out description of the band’s sound would lean toward references to The Promise Ring, Hellbender, and Sunny Day Real Estate. Or to say that Girling are like Weezer without the overwrought pretentiousness. It’s a struggle for me not to simply state that ‘Songs About Friends (Good And Bad)’ is the best emo record I’ve heard in ages – only because I know that there aren’t many people left out there who both remember and care that ‘emo’ originally was a term used to link together bands like Rites Of Spring, Texas Is The Reason, Joshua, Embrace, and the three bands I referenced above, among many others – music built on emotion, passion, and power, with a beautifully distorted guitar sound and lyrical themes covering the gamut of human emotion like love and loss and longing and regret, generally delivered in a somewhat nasally, incredibly plaintive fashion merging pop-punk insolence with a state of pure catharsis. And that’s what Girling sound like.