Girls Names

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Girls Names
Girls Names, Primavera, 2012.jpg
Girls Names performing at Primavera Sound, Barcelona, in June 2012
Background information
Origin Belfast, Northern Ireland
Genres Post-punk, Surf rock, Noise pop, Lo-fi, Alternative rock
Years active 2009–present
Labels Slumberland Records
Tough Love
Captured Tracks
CF Records
Associated acts Sea Pinks
Gross Net
Charles Hurts
Members Cathal Cully
Claire Miskimmin
Philip Quinn
Gib Cassidy
Past members Neil Brogan

Girls Names is a four-piece band from Belfast, Northern Ireland.[1] Formed in 2009 as a two-piece by singer/guitarist and songwriter Cathal Cully and drummer Neil Brogan, Claire Miskimmin joined on bass the following year[2] and Charles Hurts guitarist Philip Quinn was added to the line-up in 2012. Neil Brogan departed the band in 2013 and was replaced by current drummer Gib Cassidy. The band has released three albums, 2011's Dead To Me, 2013's The New Life, on Tough Love Records in Europe and Slumberland Records in the US, and 2015's 'Arms Around a Vision' on Tough Love Records, as well as several EPs, singles and split singles on labels such as Captured Tracks and CF Records.


Cathal Cully and Neil Brogan became friends in 2008 and, in January 2009, Camlough native Cully agreed to create a band to support US surf pop band Wavves at a show in Belfast venue Laverys Bunker the following month, despite never having been in a band himself. He asked Brogan, from Bangor, to join him for the show as drummer, meaning Brogan had to learn to play the drums for the performance.[3] The duo recorded a number of cassette-only demo releases which they put out through Cass/Flick Records (later renamed CF Records), a label founded by Brogan in 2006. In June of that year, they recorded a demo of the song "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" and contacted the Brooklyn-based indie label Captured Tracks. The label's founder, Mike Sniper, was impressed with the track and said he would be willing to release a record for them if they had more songs. They returned to him in November with 11 tracks, resulting in the release of Girls Names EP in April 2010. In the weeks before the EP's release, Cully and Brogan recruited Claire Miskimmin as bassist with the band, and Cully has claimed he had to teach Miskimmin to play the instrument before she could join them on tour.[4][5]

Girls Names released a split single with San Diego quintet Heavy Hawaii in April 2010 and the eight-song mini-album You Should Know By Now in May, on British indie label Tough Love, featuring songs recorded before those that appeared on Girls Names EP. Between June and October 2010, the trio recorded their debut album at Belfast's Start Together Studios. One of the album's tracks, "I Lose", was released on a split 7-inch single with Brilliant Colors in November 2010 – the Girls Names song written in response to the all-female San Francisco trio's flip-side track "You Win". The limited edition single was released on Slumberland Records in the US and Tough Love in Europe. The 11-track album, Dead To Me, was released on the same labels in April 2011, and received an average score of 75% on review aggregating website Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[6] However, by the time of the album's release, the band was claiming that they had a new album ready to record and had already changed their style of music.[7] They released a download-only single, "Black Saturday", in October 2011.

In early 2012, local musician Philip Quinn, who also performed at the time with the band Charles Hurts, was added to the line-up as guitarist and keyboardist, playing his first show with the band on 29 March in Belfast's Mandela Hall, by which stage the band was only playing one song from Dead To Me in their set.[8] In July 2012, they released the song "A Troubled See" on a split 7-inch single with London band Weird Dreams and October saw the release of "The New Life", the first single and title track from the band's forthcoming second album, with both new songs showcasing a shift in direction from the looser noise-pop of their earlier releases towards a krautrock, motorik-influenced sound and longer song lengths. "Hypnotic Regression", the second single from The New Life, was released as a download-only single in December. The album was released on 18 February 2013.[9] Prior to a European tour to promote The New Life, the band announced Brogan would be taking some time off from Girls Names and would be replaced for the tour by Gib Cassidy of Dublin-based group Logikparty.[10] Brogan later announced his full departure from the band and permanent replacement by Cassidy via the band's Facebook page on 30 July 2013.[11]

Side projects[edit]

Brogan performs his own material as a guitarist and vocalist in Sea Pinks and frequently enlisted Cully and Miskimmin on bass and drums respectively, for live shows between 2010 and 2012. Since late 2012, the members of Charles Hurts have played as Brogan's backing band. Sea Pinks has released five albums (Youth Is Wasted in September 2010, Dead Seas in September 2011, Freak Waves in September 2012, Dreaming Tracks in September 2014 and Soft Days in January 2016). Brogan describes Sea Pinks' style as having "substituted Girls Names' shades of grey for a sunnier disposition and more stripped-down sound".[12] He also runs the Belfast-based indie label CF Records (formerly known as Cass/Flick and Caff/Flick), which put out the first Girls Names releases as well as recordings by Cloud Nothings, Mount Eerie, High Places, Lucky Dragons, Thread Pulls, No Monster Club and Patrick Kelleher.[13][14]

Miskimmin and Brogan swap bass and guitar playing duties in Cruising along with Sarah Grimes of September Girls and Benni Johnson of Logikparty (who Cassidy also performed with). They've released a cassette single via Soft Power Records and a vinyl EP via Tough Love Records.[15]

Gross Net is the solo industrial/electronic alias of Philip Quinn since the departure of founding member Christian Donaghey in 2015. [16] Art For Blind Records released their initial release in 2014. [17]

Quinn also performed in Charles Hurts, initially a solo project it later included Steven Henry on bass and Davey Agnew on drums. Charles Hurts has released two EPs on CF Records.

Cathal Cully occasionally performs with Belfast psychedelic drone pop band Documenta, fronted by songwriter Joe Greene.[18]



  • You Should Know By Now (Tough Love/Slumberland Records, May 2010)
  • Dead To Me (Tough Love/Slumberland Records, April 2011)
  • The New Life (Tough Love/Slumberland Records, February 2013)
  • Arms Around A Vision (Tough Love, October 2015)[19]


  • C1001/02 (double cassette EP, CF Records, September 2009) – limited to 25 copies
  • Girls Names EP (12"/download, Captured Tracks, April 2010)
  • You Should Know By Now (12"/download, Tough Love, May 2010) – limited to 200 copies
  • The Next Life (12"/download, Tough Love/Slumberland Records, October 2013) – available on limited white vinyl (US), limited clear vinyl (UK) and black vinyl
  • Zero Triptych (12"/download, Tough Love, May 2015)


  • "Black Saturday" (download only, Tough Love/Slumberland Records, October 2011)
  • "The New Life" (12" on white vinyl/download, Tough Love/Slumberland Records, November 2012) – limited to 300 copies
  • "Hypnotic Regression" (download only, Tough Love/Slumberland Records, December 2012)

Split singles[edit]

  • "Split" (CF Records, May 2010) (split cassette with Heavy Hawaii) – limited to 100 copies
  • "I Lose"/ "You Win" (Tough Love/Slumberland Records, November 2010) (split 7" with Brilliant Colors) – limited to 600 copies
  • "A Troubled See" / "House of Secrets" (Tough Love/Slumberland Records, July 2012) (split 7" blue/purple vinyl with Weird Dreams) – limited to 300 copies


  1. ^ Girls Names Announce Album And Tour. Glasswerk National, 30 November 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  2. ^ Chris Cummins. Emerging Artists #2 – Girls Names. Addict Music, 31 March 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2012
  3. ^ Joel Wright. Girls Names Are Pretty. Vice, 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  4. ^ Padraic Halpin. Your New Favourite Band. Ragged Words, 24 March 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  5. ^ Chris Jones. Prime Movers. The Irish Times, 8 June 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  6. ^ Dead To Me Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More. Metacritic. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  7. ^ Cormac Delaney. Girls on Top. Irish News of the World, p53, 24 April 2011.
  8. ^ Brian Coney. Girls Names, Documenta, Third Man Theme – Radar, Belfast. BBC Across The Line, 2 April 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  9. ^ Girls Names – The New Life Released 18 February. Tough Love Records, 29 November 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  10. ^ Charlie Holt. Girls Names – Interview. Bowlegs, 6 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Girls Names – Timeline Photos". 30 July 2013. ... I have now decided to make this break permanent. ... Our buddy Gib Cassidy ... will now join the band full time ... 
  12. ^ Sea Pinks Get Freaky With New Album. Belfast Music, 11 November 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  13. ^ Sea Pinks Get Serious But Not Serious. Highwire Daze, 30 August 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2012
  14. ^ Brian Coney. Sea Pinks. AU Magazine, October 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  15. ^ "The Quietus | Features | Escape Velocity | Dirty Trash Talk: An Interview With Cruising". The Quietus. Retrieved 2016-05-18. 
  16. ^ "Gross Net". Retrieved 2016-05-18. 
  17. ^ "Premiere: Gross Net – Gross Net EP". The Thin Air. 2014-11-27. Retrieved 2016-05-18. 
  18. ^ Brian Coney. Documenta Drone Pop #2 Launch. The Big List, 16 October 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  19. ^ White, Caitlin. "Girls Names – "Reticence"". Stereogum. Retrieved 1 June 2015.