GIRLS

GIRLS

We are super excited to share with our fans the newest addition to our book shelves, Girls. The third novel from Women’s Prize longlisted author Kirsty Capes.

GIRLS is as devastating as it is hilarious, as tender and moving as it is shocking, perfect for fans of Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason and Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. At the centre of the novel is on an all-or-nothing road trip between two sisters across America to fulfil their late mother’s final wishes.

Author Kirsty Capes did us the honour of writing a passage for this blog all about the importance of music, nostalgia and of course sisterhood, all of which are our core values as a brand. She gives us a dive into her retro roots and how her latest novel was influenced by the core relationship between music and sisterhood, shaping the soundtrack to her soul. We can't wait to delve into this book and better yet have it sit proudly in our studio (I mean how cool is that book cover?!)

Enjoy the pasage below and if you're wanting a summer read be sure to pick this up! 

Buy Girls here

 

 

Music as a shared language of sisterhood

By Kirsty Capes

 

Growing up, my sister and I didn’t always speak the same language. In the unfortunate and awkward formative teenage years of our lives - we are three years apart in age - we shared a bedroom. Bunk beds, in fact, which is possibly the worst kind of sleeping situation to share, because by its nature it automatically denotes hierarchy. And this meant that, on principle and in every way imaginable, we hated each other.

 

One thing I particularly couldn’t stand about my sister was her taste in music. While I’d grown from a baby geek into a baby emo, lionising Gerard Way, Pete Wentz, and Hayley Williams, my sister played P Diddy, 50 Cent, Coolio and Tupac on endless repeat, until I was reciting the words to Gangsta’s Paradise in my sleep on the bottom bunk. 

 

Music was just another way in which we were different from one another: I was moody, bookish and awkward; my sister was cool, popular, and outgoing (or so it seemed to me). Our tastes in music reflected who we were as people.

 

It wasn’t until 2019, when we both got tickets to Glastonbury and went together along with our brother and cousin, that I realised that we had more in common than we might have otherwise thought, especially when it came to music. We shared the front row at Stormzy; elbowed our way through the crowds for Lauryn Hill, The Streets, Billie Eilish and Bring Me The Horizon. I maintain to this day that I had a full-on spiritual awakening, an out-of-body experience, watching Kylie on the Pyramid Stage. Now that my sister and I were older - and not sharing a bunk bed, nor a bedroom, nor even a home - it became so much easier to share the things that we loved with one another, rather than focus on the differences. And the thing that we loved purely, in a way that was equalising and democratising, was AJ Tracey.

 

Most importantly, over time I came to realise that the cornerstone for our musical upbringing lay in what our mother had instilled in us as children. Our mother, who adored reggae and ska, and blasted Motown at top volume on weeknights while she blow-dried our hair. Our mother, who amassed a vast collection of vinyl LPs whose origins to this day are heavily disputed, and are laid claim to by several members of the family including her ex-husband. She introduced us to everything - and I mean everything - from David Bowie to The Animals to Prince to Michael Jackson to Queen to The Temptations to Fleetwood Mac to 10cc to Bronski Beat. It took my sister and I decades to realise it, but the common thread in the music we both loved, was in what our mother had taught us from young.

 

It was in this that my sister and I found common ground, in the music that we loved, and were even able to swap some of our favourites. We discovered a shared love of music as diverse as Kano, A Day to Remember, and Alanis Morisette. We developed a new shared language in our excitement over, variously, the announcement of a Blink 182 tour with the original three members, a new Foo Fighters release, or J Hus’s new album.

 

Learning how to speak to one another, and find common ground with one another through music, was something that I grew to cherish in my relationship with my sister, especially as we grew older. Music is a powerful tool for communication, and its function as a vessel for shared feeling in my friendship with my sister was an idea that I wanted to bring to the fore in my novel Girls, which follows estranged sisters Mattie and Nora as they road trip across the United States to scatter their late mother’s ashes and heal the painful scars of their past. Mattie and Nora don’t see eye to eye, and their past and present is marred by the splinters of a shattered childhood. But one way that they know how to communicate is through music.

 

No road trip is complete without its own playlist, and I used the music that my sister and I love - the music we grew up listening to under the wise guidance of our mother - as inspiration for the music in Girls. As Nora and Mattie drive through the desert, they enjoy Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours on repeat, alongside Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, George Michael, Janis Joplin, and so so many more. Choosing the music for the novel was in some ways an exercise in dream-casting. It is the music I imagine will soundtrack my own dream road trip that I will one day take with my sister. It sets the tone for the novel perfectly, just as it has run its course through the lives of my sister and me, as a thick, rich vein of untapped gold.


Check out our selection of music inspired prints to bring your road trip to your home or to add some sisterhood spirit to your space. 
Shop Fanclub Music Art Prints here 
 
Peace and Love 
The Fanclub Sisters 
Johanna and Felicity 
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