Religion can be something that’s beautiful, but it’s also something that can build negative self-thought. It can cause you to question your own actions and overthink yourself into oblivion. Because of the thoughts and ideas that form in specific religions, it can create a sort of personal disconnect. This can truly impede the process of self-love, as it forms moral dilemmas based on everything you do. Moody Jr.’s latest single ‘Catholic Girl’ perfectly plays on this idea. It follows the tale of a likely nonreligious narrator who’s spending time with a Catholic girl. It explores how religion affects the way each character in the song thinks. The narrator has fun when they smoke cigarettes, drink, and do things for their own enjoyment, but the girl can’t do it in good conscience. Her moral rules won’t let her enjoy these hedonistic pleasures, because she gets stuck in her head instead. It’s a sort of trauma that can hold one back from their own desires, even if it’s something that they might receive enjoyment out of.
‘Catholic Girl’ has a folksy simplicity to it that really fits the idea of the track perfectly. Its main components are an acoustic guitar, some simple percussion that sounds like hits of a tambourine, and the smooth and somber vocals. The guitar makes use of both fingerpicking and chords weaved into each other with note mutes adding an extra flare. The percussion makes use of simple hits that work their way into the guitar to create the percussive background, and the muted strums become a part of the percussion. It really adds to the craftsmanship of the track. The vocals have a really nice flow to them, leaving enough space in between the lines for the instrumentation to shine through. The humming builds gorgeous harmonies, and there’s an interesting use of an organ-like synth that appears later on in the song. This sound is reminiscent of sitting in the pews of a Catholic church listening to gospel music, which builds onto the track’s religious themes perfectly.
‘Catholic Girl’ has such a heavy lyrical hit. The narrator goes through experiences they’ve shared with the Catholic girl, likely in the bounds of a relationship. The lyrics, “Your older brother is awfully wild / He had some liquor he let us try it / I drank a little felt about the same / But I could see a fire burning in your brain,” really drives home the point of the rest of the track. The lyrics play on the somber tone of the musicality to drive home what the Catholic girl might be feeling to the listener. The feeling of doing something you think you should be enjoying but with a mind that won’t let you enjoy it. It’s something that can bleed into everyday life, causing a person to overthink all of the decisions they make. Sometimes these decisions are just a part of being human. But within the girl’s story, her Catholicism likely causes a wave of self-blame, and subsequently self-hatred. Near the end of the track, the narrator beckons that since Jesus died for our sins, she could try these sins with him. This could be his way of trying to get her to free herself from the toxicity she’s built within her mind.
Paul Moody, aka Moody Jr., is an artist and instrumentalist based in Woodstock, New York. He creates music with a somber and melancholy tone that has a lyrical basis in self-reflection. ‘Catholic Girl’ is the third track leading to his upcoming album Songs From Youth. In his own words, ‘Catholic Girl’ explores sexuality while growing up in a Catholic environment. It was just released on September 10th, 2021. The other tracks currently available are ‘Super Nintendo’ and ‘Breaking Into Cars.’ Don’t forget to give all these tracks a listen and keep your eye out for the album release.
Written by Sage Plapp