An empire of memories…
The Covid crisis has had a devastating effect on the music scene this year, particularly impacting live music. Yet despite this grim turn of events, many bands have somehow managed to reignite a spark of creativity to power on through the dramas.
Dreampop combo Gold Baby are one such outfit that have adapted to the strange new world that we’re living in, with the release of new song ‘Versailles’.
Having gone through some line-up changes in recent times, Siân Alex’s musical outlet has now settled down with the sterling talents of Sara Kleppe (bass) and Scott Hislop (drums). In 2019, the new incarnation of the band released the earthy ‘Philadelphia’ which showed a more raw, organic side to Gold Baby in comparison to earlier outings, such as the tight dynamism of ‘500/1’ (see Wavegirl review previously).
Keeping busy during the lockdown period earlier this year, Gold Baby committed to recording new track ‘Versailles’ with production duties by Ian Flynn (whose talents had previously been utilised on ‘Philadelphia’). ‘Versailles’ offers a warm, heartfelt outing that explores the changing emotional space between two people in a longstanding relationship.
“‘Versailles’ is a song that just came out one day, like a splinter that I didn’t know had been buried there” comments Siân, “I think the thing is with songs like that, that they’re usually brewing for a long time in the back of your mind before they turn into something; Fiona Apple says about her songwriting, that she walks around with an antenna up, collecting stuff and one day something is full up and you can just sit there and vomit out a song. I know that with this one, that years before it existed, I wrote in a notebook ‘there’s barbed wire between us whenever we speak’ and I guess a seed was sown.”
Originally, plans were afoot for an EP from Gold Baby for 2020 when Covid suddenly loomed on the horizon. In fact, the day before they were due to go into the studio, Boris Johnson announced that the UK was entering lockdown. As a result, those plans were temporarily shelved. Instead, the team worked on ‘Versailles’ recording their various parts remotely, something that brought fresh challenges but that also served as a vital lifeline between the musicians, serving as a connection during uncertain times.
The themes weaved into ‘Versailles’ tackles the troubled physical and emotional spaces between two people, but could also be read as a commentary on the distances we experience as a culture during the current crisis. Lines such as “An empire of memories/The future looks bleak” carry a weight to them, but this composition is anything but bleak, with an engaging, emotional quality to it.
This release is also supported by HelpMusicians (www.helpmusicians.org.uk/), an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres. The charity’s aims are to help musicians during times of crisis, but also to lend support during times of opportunity when they need to get through situations that could make or break their career.
Meanwhile, plans for Gold Baby’s debut EP have now been rescheduled with a release date plotted for the early months of 2021. The band are also working on material for their first album.
‘Versailles’ is out now.