So who's behind the irresistible moniker of Girlyman, a trio that fits the bill for swirling styles and gender roles, both individually and collectively? Doris Muramatsu and Tylan Greenstein, whose 2002 debut as The Garden Verge received an Outmusic Award for Best New Recording by a duo, make up two-thirds of Girlyman. Rounding out the group is former Bostonian and Boston Music Award winner Nate Borofsky.
The accolades don't stop there, however. In 2002, Girlyman was voted "Most Wanted to Return" by fans at the prestigious Falcon Ridge Folk Festival; surprisingly, the trio had formed as a musical unit only a few months before the event. One listen to the 12 tracks on Girlyman's first studio project, "Remember Who I Am," and you'll understand why they snagged an audience-favorite nod so effortlessly.
Their resonant sound is one that you're almost guaranteed not to expect. Equal parts Alison Krauss & Union Station and REM, Girlyman's mellow, rootsy atmospherics feel right at home in an intimate acoustic venue like Harvard Square's Club Passim, where the trio recently performed. The group members trade songwriting responsibilities on most numbers, though their techniques flow together as smoothly as their electric harmonies.
Aptly titled, "Remember Who I Am" is a stirring collection of remembrances -of friends, of lovers, of ways of life. "Viola," the disc's lovely opening elegy, dips and soars more gracefully than many songs of its kind ("I drowned myself tonight in sangria/ Made with sliced up fruit and cheap marsala"). Other ballads such as "Say Goodbye" and "The Shape I Found You In" move deeply and deliberately courtesy of Joe Dye's pedal steel guitar, which floats through the songs like a somber ghost. The dreamy "Maori" boasts a gorgeous melodic finesse as it contemplates the faraway natives of New Zealand, while "Amaze Me" tells a quirky tale of love for America in a dark time. Each song hooks into what's visceral and true. -Jason Roush, Bay Windows
"Really good, really unexpected, and really different." - The Village Voice
"Girlyman's strength lies in its harmonic, multi-instrumental mastery of buoyant,pop-folk numbers with elusive, poetic lyrics." - The Washington Post
"Supercharged with passion and deep musicality." - Catie Curtis
"Girlyman is truly a musical treasure. With gorgeous songs and detailed arrangements, they are a breath of fresh air every time I hear them. Girlyman is just what the music world needs!" - Matt Smith, Manager, Club Passim
WINNER OF THE 2004 INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARD FOR FOLK
WINNER OF THE 2004 OUTMUSIC AWARD FOR BEST NEW RECORDING, GROUP