girlpuppy’s Becca Harvey knew she wanted to make music at an early age, but the path ahead wasn’t always clear. Harvey began inventing songs at age 6; the youngest of three kids, she gravitated towards her older brothers’ taste, which included Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani. At 8, she started composing parts by ear on guitar, continuing to develop her musicality in a school choir. Stadium concerts for Taylor Swift and One Direction gave her a grandiose vision of pop stardom, but it was a double bill of Girlpool and Snail Mail that introduced her to Atlanta’s indie scene, and inspired her to seriously pursue songwriting.
Despite her guitar experiments, Harvey doesn’t consider herself an instrumentalist—“So I never saw a future for myself in music,” she confesses. But that future changed with girlpuppy’s debut track “For You,” a breezy guitar pop song fleshed out with now-frequent collaborator John Michael Young. The song’s release in 2020 led to an internet friendship with producer Marshall Vore, known for his work with folk dynamo Phoebe Bridgers; later that year, Harvey flew to Vore’s Pasadena studio to write 2021’s Swan EP. The five song collection—also featuring Charlie Hickey and Atlantan psychedelic outfit Lunar Vacation—found a supportive home with Royal Mountain Records, and drew acclaim from outlets including NPR, Nylon and Line of Best Fit for Harvey’s nimbly expressive voice and plaintive yet grimly funny lyrics. Following a hometown release show, girlpuppy graced festival stages including Riot Fest and Shaky Knees, and toured with kindred artists The Districts and Matt Maltese.
Hitting the road energized Harvey, and soon girlpuppy was back in the studio. “Now that I’ve played festivals, one of the first things I think about is: ‘Will this be one that people dance to?’” Harvey explains. Inspired by HAIM and Stevie Nicks, girlpuppy set out to create a ‘70s-influenced summer jam, enlisting Maggie Rogers’ producer Doug Schadt and his Bushwick studio to lasso her vision. “I Miss When I Smelled Like You,” a stray line in Harvey’s songwriting notes, morphed into a yearning chorus: a pent-up desire for reconnection once love’s scent has faded. Over a sinuous yacht rock riff, radio country leads and intricate drums from Eric Slick, Harvey’s vocal glides with confidence. Its music video, the latest in girlpuppy’s collaborations with photographer Eat Humans, sees Harvey driving Atlanta’s cul-de-sacs, slaying at Guitar Hero, and skimming a Justine Kurland photo book—self-reclamations in the hazy wake of a break up.
“This song is much more pop-based–it’s so different from what I’ve made in the past and what I’ll make in the future,” says Harvey, alluding to a debut album on the horizon. Whatever sound is next for girlpuppy, Harvey’s sure to deliver the melodic certainty and surefooted narrative sense she’s brought to her songs so far. “I’ve always taken my music very seriously,” she offers. “And I’ve never changed my approach for anyone other than me.”