Calling our name from across the Atlantic, Water Babies recorded their first EP entitled EP#1 in November 2013. The four members of Water Babies have all played together in different bands around the Paris music scene, but now they’ve come together to form Water Babies, a unique pop-punky band with gorgeous vocals and classical influences. They recorded and mixed EP#1 somewhere in the suburbs of Paris, near a farm in summer, on a four track tape machine from the 80’s. It was mastered with Pro-Tools, but nothing was changed through digital manipulation. Magne, the drummer, produced the recording. I have to say their DIY recording sounds clean and professional; maybe it’s time for all of us to return to four-track tape machines.
The first track, “Summer Clouds” opens with classical guitar picking to intro Rousseaux’s outstanding vocals. She reminds me of a jazz singer from New Orleans, Meschiya Lake who captures everyone’s attention on the street. The carefree tone of this track reflects the hot French summer they recorded in, “all those magic little moments / summer’s here but the days get shorter / I think about you all the time.” The old timey, bouncy vaudeville vocal effect in the middle of the song brings up circus images in the listener’s mind. The whole EP has a bouncy vaudeville flavor with kazoos and horns in later tracks.
“Tiny Houses” quickly transitions with a garage pop guitar intro riff. After the intro, the vocals kick in backed by a bounding bass line. Surf rock guitar riffs punctuate the bass and vocals to give the track heightened energy. The energy is transferred into lyrics such as “driving very fast / burning all the trash.” The bridge brings the track back intro the vaudeville vibe with horns, kazoo and synchronized vocals. Compositionally complex, “Tiny Houses” goes from the vaudeville bridge to a grungy guitar outro.
Check out the heavy, funky bass intro to “I’m A Spy;” it sets a dark and anxious contrast to the high octave vocals. The timbre of the vocals does not offset the ominous lyrical content, “keep regretting all this danger / where the hell am I? / yes I am a spy!” The anxious bass drives the track forward beneath words like “time is money / they won’t get me.” The story Rousseaux tells of a spy running is echoed in the guitar solo the grinds its way forward like a car.
Water Babies has given us a complex EP with stunning vocals, driving bass, unique drum fills, classical and punk guitar riffs. They’re vaudeville-esque with a garage rock, pop punk edge. They played their first show in December of last year, and are gearing up to hit the road. I’ll try to catch them the next time I hitch through Europe.
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