Pop-punk duo girlfriends prove staying power with ‘(e)motion sickness’

Pop-punk duo Travis Mills and Nick Gross made their return to the music scene this month with the debut of their sophomore album.

Released June 17, 2022, (e)motion sickness is purely post-modern pop-punk.

Citing their sound influences as Blink-182, 5 Seconds of Summer, and All Time Low, girlfriends (stylized lowercase) channels all the old-school stylings of pop-punk while adding in their own addictive flare.

“It’s the perfect description of how I’ve been feeling over the last 2 years,” says Mills of the album, “Struggling with an emotional duality that forces one to overthink, overreact and look at the world in harsh contrast. It’s poking fun at my tendency to be dramatic.”

The two found their start in the music industry in the early 2000s, before either of them were even in their 20s.

Mills, formerly known by stage name T. Mills, grew up in Riverside, California. In 2008, Mills was discovered on MySpace. The music he posted online led him to a major record deal with Uprising Records and a spot on the now-defunct Warped Tour.

In an interview with SPIN magazine, Mills said his first record deal resulted in a slight loss of his authenticity.

“I wanted so badly to be successful when I was younger, that I would say things that weren’t necessarily true,” he said, “or I would kind of embellish on things [to] create these fun, hype songs.”

Two years after signing with Uprising, Mills released his first and only solo album titled Ready, Fire, Aim! and formed an almost pop-star-like fanbase despite the music being an early iteration of emo-rap.

From there, he released three EPs titled Leaving Home EP (2012), All I Wanna Do (2014), and While You Wait (2016).