The Babies Our House on the Hill

The BabiesOur House on the Hill
What a difference a year can make. On their 2011 debut, the Babies sounded like the side-project they were: the songs were simple, ramshackle and recorded cheaply by Vivian Girls' Cassie Ramone and Woods' Kevin Morby in their spare time. It was charming, but between the two songwriters, it felt like they could do better, and their day-job track records proved it. Our House on the Hill is further proof. While higher production values certainly help, there's more significant growth elsewhere on the record. Ramone and Molby know each other better, so the dynamic between them is more fluid, especially on tracks like "Slow Walking" and first single "Moonlight Mile," but the songs themselves are better written, taking twists and turns that seemed out of their league on their boppy debut. "See The Country" has a mature, rambling aesthetic to it that suggests the band grew over four or five years, not just one, and album opener "Alligator," whose uptempo bounce is belied by cynical undertones, switches tempo as it gallops along. The Babies aren't going to change anyone's life, but that's not the point: they're making effortless, catchy indie pop and on Our House on the Hill, they're doing it damn well. (Woodsist)