North London based Gold Baby have roared into 2020, releasing a new single, Dogbone. The band play an enticing form of indie-pop, laced with dreamy grunge and the reflective lyrics of songwriter Sian Alex. Perhaps the best description of the band came from Sian herself, describing them as “what it might sound like if Sufjan Stevens wrote a Weezer song”. On Dogbone, Sian’s lyricism beautifully takes us through the relatable emotions of how trying so hard to not care sometimes shows that we actually very much do. The colorful, light-hearted indie-rock tune helps reflect these emotions perfectly.
The band consisting of Sian on guitar and vocals, Sara Kleppe on bass and Scott Hislop on drums have definitely picked up where they left off last year. in 2019 they released two singles, Philadelphia and 500/1 both showcasing the band’s capability to create delightful tunes and Sian’s storytelling. Their grunge and slacker rock elements and the pensive lyrics reminds me of the work of Car Seat Headrest and Aussie rocker Courtney Barnett.
They have been cultivating their own dream-grunge style, finding more and more success with their last few singles, with Dogbone being no exception. They still preserve that grunge rock energy whilst the melodic guitar parts create this catchiness, coming together in what is an infectiously enjoyable tune. Similar to the lyrics, the tune perfectly transitions from mellow and reflective, with the stripped backed bridges, to powerful and emotional guitar riffs reflecting the rollercoaster of emotions.
The vocals retain the raw emotion, fitting for the emotion in the lyrics. Subtly pleasant in the contemplative verses and bridges, whilst powerful in the chorus, in a way which seems almost cathartic. In listening to the tune, you hear a sense of sincerity, not only from the lyrics but from the song as a whole. “You are not the only one, you’re not the hope that I hang myself from, you’re not too long in bed or the song in my head, you’re no-one” Sian sings in the chorus, putting into words that contradiction which shapes the main theme of Dogbone. Honest and relatable, it is difficult not to sing along to the lyrics.
“I wanted to feel sentimental about certain things and I just didn’t anymore; I felt numb and I thought it was the saddest thing ever. But by the time we’d recorded the track, I realised that all that energy I’d used trying to tell myself and everybody else how much of a shit I didn’t give, was only proof of how much I still cared. It was therapeutic” Says Sian on the curative and emotional process of recording the song, emotions which I feel those who listen along could truly feel.
After a difficult period of rebuilding and bad luck with band members, it seems that Gold Baby have found form in their last three singles, spearheaded by the brilliant Dogbone. Emotionally attached yet lightheartedly catchy throughout, it is a tune that gets you reflecting and thinking whilst you simultaneously belt it out.
They’re already set to release another single, Japanese Racehorse, ready to be launched on February 17th with an exciting show at The Waiting Room. With an EP being recorded for spring release and an album in the works, Gold Baby are certainly ones to watch this year.