Another reason Girls' music has attracted such an impressive following is that it's all based around sing-along pop. This brings us to the other hook that keeps popping up in articles about Girls: Owens grew up in the Children of God, an international cult formed in 1968 in Huntington Beach. Children of God (now called the Family International) has been known for, among other things, expecting females to prostitute themselves to gain converts and money (known as flirty fishing), promoting adult-child sexual contact (Owens says he was never physically abused but witnessed plenty of stuff no kid should), and shielding members from secular culture. Even so, Owens — who finally ran away at 16 — is able to appreciate the background in music that the cult gave him.

"One of the beautiful things that the Children of God did with music was use it as a way of bringing everyone together and sort of forgetting about everyday life," he says. "They'd sing about, you know, 'Any day Jesus is coming back to save us from this horrible world.' So I think my foundation musically is like an escape, very similar to gospel music."

And now he's spreading Girls' good word around the world, as the band has just wrapped up its first national tour and is getting ready to head overseas. Owens claims he's already written six more albums, and eventually wants to make a reggae record.

Boys who like Girls: Chet "JR" White and Christopher Owens.
Sandy Kim
Boys who like Girls: Chet "JR" White and Christopher Owens.

True Panther's Dean Bein says the groundwork is paying off in terms of fan support. "I typed 'Girls' into Google a couple days ago, and [the band] came up first," he says. "I mean, Girls — of all the pornography that's out there, the first result is their fucking MySpace page? That's unbelievable."

When all the talk of getting high wears off, Girls will continue to feed those fan cravings with their blissed-out, narcotic pop. It's an impressive style that many have found to be more addictive than drugs.

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