With Girls in Trouble, poet and multi-instrumentalist Alicia Jo Rabins mines dark stories of Biblical women, exploring the hidden places where their complicated lives overlap with her own. The result is an album of fully orchestrated songs, both intimate and wide-ranging, with upright bass, drums, accordion, and layered electric guitars.
A classically trained violinist since the age of three, Alicia grew up practicing Bach and sneaking out to Baltimore punk shows. She began touring at eighteen, when she fell in love with traditional fiddle music, then traveled to Jerusalem to immerse herself in a new realm– the study of ancient languages and texts. For two years, she absorbed the stories and rituals of the Torah and Kabbalah. Returning to the States, Alicia attempted to resume her regular life, but found herself haunted still by the ancient stories she had encountered in her studies– especially those of Biblical women.
Realizing their stories echoed with the traditional ballads she loved, Alicia began writing her first songs, taking these Biblical women as her subjects. As she composed, harmonizing quietly into her laptop so as not to wake her roommates, Alicia’s love of American folk and underground rock fused indelibly with her knowledge of the Hebrew Bible: Girls in Trouble was born.
When bassist Aaron Hartman (Old Time Relijun, K Records) overheard Alicia describing the project in a Brooklyn bar, he introduced himself, and soon became an integral part of Girls in Trouble. Alicia wrote, arranged, sang the songs, and performed the string parts, but it was Aaron who expanded Girls in Trouble into a full band. Three months before the release of their debut album, Alicia and Aaron wed; since then, the full band has toured across the US and Europe, sleeping on floors and playing a range of venues, from The Smell in Los Angeles to the Great Synagogue in Stockholm, Sweden.
Girls in Trouble recorded their second album at Vacation Island Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with wunderkind engineer Matt Boynton. Half You Half Me retains the emotional vulnerability and poetic focus of Girls in Trouble’s self-titled debut while broadening the band’s sound into eclectic, atmospheric landscapes. In the first album, the women were quiet heroes; on Half You Half Me, ambiguous stories deepen, twist, and blossom into the complex terrain between right and wrong, between you and me.