Published Mar 12, 2020The debut EP from Vancouver's Babe Corner is a melancholy wrangling of reverb-soaked guitars, four-part harmonies, and laidback "babe core" (a term they might have coined on their Bandcamp page) tempos. The band, which features members of Peach Pit, Booty EP and Haley Blais, spent 2019 building their following in Vancouver and recording this debut.
The gentle sway of the track "Alone At the Party" opens the five-song EP. The melody of the opening guitar riff sets a sombre and lazy tone. Much like the lyrics, the guitar riff is catchy and crestfallen. It so perfectly captures a feeling that everyone can relate to that it might be hard not to think of this song the next time you find yourself "alone at a party, wasting away," to quote the chorus. Lindsey Sjoberg's voice is both despondent and soothing as it floats in a heavy stream of reverb.
The harmonized sighs in "Killer" create a great sense of rueful languish. That's perhaps the great strength of Babe Corner's songwriting, not just the memorable melodies and the lyricism, but the emphasis on tone and mood. The most effective moment in "Killer" is the extended sigh in the second verse following the lyric "I don't understand how your body works." The sigh communicates the feeling of the song maybe better than anything else.
On "Fox Cabaret," named after a popular Vancouver venue, the tone shifts to a more shadowy, spooky dissonance, with an opening guitar riff that is all doom and gloom. It's a welcome change of pace from the rest of the EP, as it shows the band's versatility in writing. The song builds to a chaotic climax during the bridge as the tempo ramps up frantically, only to end with some haunting vocal harmonies.
The album closes with "Cigarette," a song they created a '70s style music video for near the end of 2019. It's an uptempo rock track, a bit more hard hitting than any other song on the EP, heavy on group singing and unforgiving lyrics. For an EP that starts so slow and meandering it's nice to end it on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Babe Corner's sound is cascading reverb and warm, vintage tones that achieve a DIY sound. It's a great start for a band that's been gaining a lot of hype around the Vancouver scene. (Independent)