You finish a gig, the reverberating final note fighting through the desperation that thickens the air. Your patches of sweat have met other patches; a dry area is the new minority. Embracing your unexpected lack of self-consciousness as you're panting under the spotlight, you are hit by relief and satisfaction. The thought of doing it all over again tomorrow is exotically laughable, a niggling thought that's usurped by the ringing in your ear - or is that just the screams of the crowd? Adrenaline and exhaustion are tangled up in an almost tangible liquid that courses through your numb limbs. Too fuelled for sleep, you stretch out your night like a flimsy elastic band, dreading the snap.
 
From Robert Plant to Mick Jagger, the stereotypical 'rockstar' is notorious and indulgent, unapologetically living for themselves. A different city every day, a different groupie every night. But in a different decade, the old stereotypes are no longer in place and the rockstar has been revamped. New York duo Girlyboi (couple Joseph Matick and Carly Russ) are walking two-by-two to the front of the stage, hand-in-hand at the head of the procession. Decadent together, these Nu-Rockstars prove how obsolete the phrase 'to be tied down' is. This is Romantic Hedonism.
 
Photographer Lauren Withrow captures the playful and gritty essence of Joe and Carly, images that reflect the couple's broody music softened by raw emotion. Long-haired and leather-clad, with unbuttoned shirts and heavy boots, Girlyboi defy expectation by producing love songs with sultry undertones, rough and real. It's ethereal without the fairytale, tough and tender at the same time.
 
You can listen to Girlyboi's new song 'Popular Song' here.
I've been cooped up
I've unused lipstick
My pocket's full
Well...it's optimistic (I'm tired of Bushwick)
 
You wanna dance?
I hear it's free
And it's still legal
Will always be (midnight to three)
 
You wanna write?
You wrote this song
It's been about you
Yeah all along
 
You wanna sing?
Well go on girl
Go on...
 
                - Joseph Matick

Poetry by Joseph Matick.
Words by Jonny Clowes.

BBG Presents: Girlyboi