Summer saw some good tunes popping up on the independent scene, although a special mention has to be made to Gold Baby for the evocative ‘500/1’ (see Wavegirl review previously). Siân Alex’s grunge-pop outfit have been keeping the quality high since we first wrote about them back in 2018 (for the raw delights of ‘What Party?’).
After some shuffling around with line-ups (enter Scott Hislop) and a healthy number of live outings, Gold Baby have released new tune ‘Philadelphia’. Curiously billed as “interweaving the story of a night spent lost in Pennsylvania with that of a Mexican fisherman lost at sea”, the new composition is a fine example of Alex’s flourish for cryptic and beguiling lyrical ideas.
Here, she artfully tosses in odd yet strong visual cues about “an unlit road” or “an uprooted tree” to explore ideas of journeys that go too far. For those curious about the fisherman motif, the ‘Jesús Vidaña’ that the lyrics mention was an unfortunate soul who had embarked on a fishing trip from Mexico with some associates back in 2005. Exhausting their fuel, they were subsequently adrift in the Pacific Ocean for nine months.
This unusual analogy is weaved into the tale via lines such as “Of course you only put enough fuel in the tank for a one way trip”. It’s the idea that you realise you’ve gone too far only when there’s no way back.
‘Philadelphia’ is, perhaps, a little more dialled-down from previous outings. Alex’s acoustic guitar is front and centre in the mix and there’s an earthy, more organic feel to proceedings. But the result is an engaging, intimate musical journey with some deft production work care of Ian Flynn.
Gold Baby aren’t content to rest too much following their latest release. January and February have already been marked for two further single releases and the band are also knuckling down to write and record more material for release across next year.
‘Philadelphia’ is out now.
Gold Baby are performing 8th November at The Finsbury alongside a secret headline act as well as Cozy Slippers and Macadamia Sluts.
He writes for outlets such as J-Pop Go, Electronic Sound, All The Anime and The Electricity Club. He ran the Julian Cope-focused Screaming Secrets for many years and also administers Virginia Astley's official website.
He has been featured in a variety of press and media features including the Metro and Japan Update Weekly.
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