If you’ve not yet heard of GIRLI, then you’re in for a wild treat.
GIRLI is the stage name for Milly Toomey, a 20-year-old from London whose music is outspoken, hyperactive, and incredibly catchy.
Describing GIRLI’s sound to a newbie is a bit of a difficult one. In 2016, The Guardian described GIRLI as a cross “between PC Music, bubblegum pop, punk and rap, each one treading a line between catchy and deliberately discomforting.” Think of her as a British M.I.A. mixed with Charli XCX and Lily Allen and you’re probably halfway there.
Deep-routed within the cutesy pop beats, you’ll find GIRLI’s perspective on life, society, and gender equality. In track ‘Girls Get Angry Too’, she says:
Why are there gender sections for toys? And sorry if I’m out of line but I don’t want Hamleys to decide if my kid’s a fireman or a bride.
GIRLI’s ability to deliver expert social commentary probably stems from her previous dabble into the world of politics. At the age of just 13, Toomey was a Young MP for Camden and even delivered a speech on workers’ rights to parliament.
At the age of 17, Toomey dropped out of college to pursue a music career. Initially being part of a band, before heading out as a solo artist. Her debut release as GIRLI came in 2015 with the punchy ‘So You Think You Can Fuck With Me Do Ya’ – certainly making an instant impression upon release.
GIRLI’s no-holds-barred stance on life and music has garnered her a plethora of fans. In October, she released ‘Hot Mess’, her second EP. 2017 also saw her go on tour with Declan McKenna. In ‘Neck Contour’, she sings about how she “don’t give a damn, it’s fine” which seems pretty representative of her music on a whole. She talks about whatever she wants, however she wants, and avoids the stereotype or cliche at the same time.
With heightened political and social issues to discuss, it’s likely that GIRLI will have enough to talk about to fill an album soon enough. In an interview with Huck Magazine, when asked about the reason for talking about politics in her music, she said:
I’ve always been involved in women’s issues because they affect me, same with LGBT issues, and now I’m starting to realise that we need to talk about stuff that doesn’t just impact us directly too.
Being bisexual, GIRLI’s lyrics allow her to talk candidly about relationships with both girls and boys. In ‘Girl I Met On The Internet’ she talks of how “I wanna have a cute chick on my arm” whilst in ‘Pak Choi’, she says that “now I want to kiss you boy”.
GIRLI started the year off with the release of the music video for the track ‘Mr 10pm Bedtime’. The song is taken from ‘Hot Mess’ and the video depicts a pink Princess-esque GIRLI take on the dullness of her retiring neighbour.
In April, GIRLI will perform a tour across the UK with dates in Manchester and London. With such an eclectic vibe about her, it’s destined to be a ticket worth buying.
You can find more about GIRLI and her upcoming tour dates on her official site.