Gold Baby – ‘Rabbits’

By Aaron Jackson

Siân Alex arrived in London, after relocating from Nottingham, readily equipped with some songs and a band name, but no band. Self-confessedly “afraid of the internet”, Alex took to advertising via handmade posters on Denmark Street and in coffee shops, but in the end, albeit considerably less endearing, it was actually a Gumtree ad that led to the recruitment of drummer Scott Hislop and bassist Sara Kleppe. With technology once again prevailing, Gold Baby were born, and are now here with their debut EP, ‘Rabbits’.

‘Bodie’ is a gentle introduction to ‘Rabbits’. Hislop’s tranquil drum beat combines with Kleppe’s understated but vital bassline to establish a textural foundation that doesn’t just set the tone for ‘Bodie’, but the EP as a whole. This dynamic is completed by Alex’s guitar and vocal performance, which delicately dances through the foreground, demonstrating plenty of range and variance. Towards the end of the song, the band escalate in unison, as if to hint that there are more loud moments to follow…

… Enter: ‘2041’. Here, the band’s inspiration from the likes of Fugazi becomes particularly apparent; while not necessarily having the same punk bite as Fugazi, Gold Baby are also champions of the curious ability to deliver dissonance in a manner that still sounds fundamentally melodic. Comparisons here can also be drawn to grunge legends Pixies, in the sense that the song structure and vocal variance is atypical and refuses to adhere to any kind of discernible blueprint. An interesting piece, it’s a song that will keep you guessing in a way that the rest of the EP doesn’t.

The third track and second single from the EP, ‘Betty’, perfectly encapsulates what Gold Baby are all about. Shifting through the gears and altering in pace at will, the band expertly meander through a host of emotions elicited both via the lyrical content, and also through the raw musicianship on display.

Lastly, ‘Rabbits’ closes out with lead single ‘Captain Dorego’. Shimmering and folky, Gold Baby bow out on a note so pleasant that you’ll want to go right back to the beginning of the record and start all over again. Released alongside a charming music video featuring a well-choreographed dance routine, this song caps off a beautifully rounded introduction to a band full of potential.

Of course, it’s early days for Gold Baby and, while this record is notably raw and does feel like a first EP, this ultimately works in Gold Baby’s favour. ‘Rabbits’ is a charismatic collection of songs that showcases honest songwriting, confident musicianship and, above all, heaps of promise for even better things to come.

AARON JACKSON

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