Chicago’s Horsegirl, the noisy rock trio of 17-18 year olds Penelope Lowenstein (she/her), Nora Cheng (she/her), and Gigi Reece (they/them), announce they’ve signed to Matador Records. In conjunction with the signing, the band will perform a free livestream concert on April 13th at 9am AEDT via Vans Channel 66. This broadcast is the first time many outside of Chicago will have the chance to see Horsegirl play live.
Raised in Chicago, Lowenstein, Reece and Cheng each started playing music at a young age. Lowenstein and Cheng met through a local music program, where they initially bonded over their similar taste in records. After frequenting local shows together, and Reece joining one night, they quickly became friends who fell in love with discovering music, sending each other songs and videos from now defunct DIY bands and scenes. There was an immediate collective vision developing that would inform what would soon become Horsegirl. The idea of playing together felt very natural and fun, and a further way to explore music they loved together (check their weekly playlist for a glimpse). After a brief time in a Sonic Youth cover band, and one open mic later, Horsegirl was formed. Now together for almost two years, the trio have played contemporary art museums, all ages venues, and house parties.
Horsegirl operate as a true unit, with a young and punk-minded aesthetic. There’s an edginess to their overall lyrics and sound, which feature dreamy guitars and distinct dual vocal melodies by Cheng and Lowenstein, and the propulsive rhythmic drums of Reece. While they’ve only released three songs thus far, they’ve already garnered praise from the likes of Pitchfork, NPR Music, Chicago Tribune, NYLON, Paste, and more, and repeat plays on Sirius XMU and BBC6. The first pressing of their 7”,’Ballroom Dance Scene’ b/w ‘Sea Life Sandwich Boy,’ sold out within 24 hours. For a deeper dive into the collective vibe of Horsegirl, head over to NME for their Radar story.
“Today is Wednesday, a wonderful day for some wonderful news. We are very excited to announce that Horsegirl has signed to Matador Records.
Two years ago when we were underclassmen, we pooled together our money to see Yo La Tengo live (Ira Kaplan handed us his guitar). That fall we played a show in the street with a Stephen Malkmus poster taped to the kick drum. When Belle & Sebastian played the entirety of If You’re Feeling Sinister at Pitchfork, we stood in the front and said Judy had a dream of Horsegirl. Matador has been formative for our relationship as friends and musicians, and we feel insanely grateful to be working with them.
We are really appreciative of everybody who has amplified our work in these past few months, the people who’ve found us and understand what we’re going for, and the Chicago kids who’ve understood all along.
To the adults at the Yo La Tengo show who said we were too young to like good music (and made fun of Penelope for bringing her backpack): kids are going to bring punk-rock back.”