Last month, LA trio Gal Pal returned with the one-off single “Mirror,” which reflected the jagged, clanging guitar sound groups like Palm have made popular lately. Yet their follow-up single and the track that properly introduces their new album This and Other Gestures—set for release on June 2—takes a considerably more pop-punk approach, with “Angel in the Flesh” sounding like fellow Angelenos Cherry Glazerr at their grungiest. “I grew up listening to a lot of pop-punk and emo bands,” the group’s Nico Romero explains of the track’s inspiration. “I was a big fan of labels like Fueled by Ramen and Decaydance as a kid. I think this song definitely comes from that background a bit.”
As with those pop-punk groups, much of the track’s emotion comes from a sense of longing covered in the lyrics, with Romero and co-vocalist Emelia Austin singing about leaning into love. “It’s easy for me to want to sing about crushes and longing because it’s a fun feeling to indulge in and romanticize, even when it hurts,” Romero continues. “So when I sent a demo to Emelia, I sang the chorus, mostly for reference of how I thought the vocal melody could work. She liked the lyrics so we stuck with it and she built the verses around that initial feeling. Our producer, Danny Nogueiras, saw where the song wanted to go and helped push it further, leaning into those emo-pop roots.”
The track arrives with a video that’s less an examination of crushes and more a guilt trip about forgetting your pet’s birthday, told through the over-the-top emotiveness of ’90s sitcoms. Check that out below, and pre-save the album here.