Lauran Hibberd - 'Girlfriend Material'

7/10

When Lauran Hibberd released her highly-praised debut LP 'Garageband Superstar' in 2022, it was the culmination of more than five years of grind throughout the underground music scene. Bringing together the knowledge and experience she had garnered in her infancy saw her long-awaited full-length make an instant impact and gave her the high-profile recognition she has always deserved. And with just a few short years passed since then, she now returns with her sophomore studio album 'Girlfriend Material', a record that sees her hone in on the mainstream.

While pop sensibilities have always been a part of Hibberd's sound over the years, 'Girlfriend Material' sees her venture further towards a commercial identity than ever before. Swapping out the fast and frantic guitar-driven anthems of the previous effort in exchange for more heartfelt ballads, her latest collection puts her more in a category with Olivia Rodrigo, Liz Phair and Taylor Swift than the more rock-focused ambitions she has shown in recent years.

Although it is a far different beast to what 'Garageband Superstar' was, 'Girlfriend Material' still manages to pack itself with plenty of fun and enjoyable moments to get stuck into. She may have moved onto a newer aesthetic here, but is still very much the same quirky Lauran Hibberd at heart.

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