The Babies – Spires
After their first full length album on Shrimper Records, a demos EP on New Images, and scores of singles on U.S. and international record labels, The Babies second album Our House On The Hillis their Woodsist Records debut and the first with new bassist, Brian Schleyer.
While the band was originally conceived as a side-project outlet for Kevin Morby and Cassie Ramone – along with drummer Justin Sullivan – to trade song ideas and play house parties, 2011 saw the project grow into a full time affair. The band spent much of the year touring the U.S. and abroad, all the while writing new material, both in their home of Brooklyn and during a two-month sojourn in Los Angeles.
In February 2012, the band swapped their usual environs of Brooklyn’s Rear House recording studio and spent two weeks in Los Angeles working with Producer Rob Barbato (Darker My Love, The Fall, Cass McCombs). The increased time and focus allowed them to explore musical directions only hinted at on their first album. Thus, Our House On The Hill features hushed dirges, melancholic traveling odes and squealing rave-ups, all made cohesive by Kevin and Cassie’s captivating songwriting and lyrical themes. Organ, piano, saxophone and even strings play a supporting role in enhancing the aural atmosphere, which finds the band finally realizing a sound that can be called their own. Simple yet thoughtful; familiar yet haunting. Sweet but somber.
“The set opener, “Alligator,” is conversational in tone and acts to disarm the hardened listener with its pop confection and curve ball time change signatures on a check of solid Gang of Four gold. “Yo, I dig your hair, I gotta tell you about these holes in my pants, I would rather not hold yer hand. You get the drift.”
Cassie evokes Anna Karina if she were in The Shangri-La’s instead of Godard films in “See the Country” and then married throughout the entire record are those otherworldly harmonized “oohs” & “aahs” by Kevin & Cassie that’ll make the stubble on your spine take notice if you are still one of them folks in need of oxygen to breathe. The switchblade knives & butterfly stitches that paint the heartache and conflict throughout this long player will sharpen you for your next lovelorn argument, stumbling bar brawl between you & a reflection of your 17 year old self in the face of a tinfoil plated locket or for the working stiffs, that 3am Saturday drive home from the bad side of the tracks back to the sad side.
Put the needle on the flip and throw that break up layer of tears away: we got a ride to catch to that house on the hill.” – Dennis Callaci
“Within the past year, Brooklyn-based Spires grew from 22-year-old Matt Stevenson’s bedroom project into an expansive four-piece. With the increase in members came an enhancement to Spires’ sound, lifting Stevenson’s spectral bedroom pop to soaring psych-pop heights. For its first two minutes, their new track “Sterling” is a bouncily accessible effort with an urgent guitar lead reflecting Stevenson’s tripped-out vocal melody. As “Sterling” progresses, Spires’ adventurous tendencies become heavily prevalent. The final minute sees several bursts of innovation as new arrangements serve as cohesive continuations of the initial verses; whirring organs and lavishly constructed guitar interplay remind of Tame Impala, a comparison any aspiring psych-rocker should be proud of. We look forward to hearing the follow-up to “Sterling” next month.” – Obscure Sound.
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Event Category: Live Music
When: September 7, 2013
Where: Mercury Lounge
More Info: http://www.mercuryloungenyc.com/