For better or for worse, the feeling of hunger is a constant fixture in the life of an artist. In one sense, physical hunger is a result of eschewing an economically comfortable path in favor of struggling along a more volatile one. Hunger is also the fuel that will galvanize artists to pursue whatever is most honest and interesting to them. “A Hunger Artist”, sharing a name with a Franz Kafka short story, is the second track to be released from Girls Names’ upcoming record Arms Around A Vision on Tough Love Records. In a press release, frontman Cathal Cully writes, “I’m not starving or anything, but I’ve practically been living hand to mouth since I was 22. Most guitar music now is just a playground for the rich middle classes, and it’s really boring and elitist. We’re elitist in our own way, in that we’re on our own and you can’t fuck with us when we’ve nothing to lose.”
Cully’s resonant voice emulates Ian Curtis’ as he waxes lyrical about an artist’s suffering. There’s a beautiful and complex interplay of instruments on this track. Buzzing synths and ambient keyboard that harness the sound of new wave skip atop the melodic bassline during the song’s epic two-minute outro. Rather than cast their hardships and fears aside, Girls Names embrace them in this whirring, cathartic track.