Five Favourites: 45AcidBabies

Having first caught our attention with recent single ‘Mommy’s Favorite 1’, Dutch garage punks 45ACIDBABIES have now returned with a vibrant new single. A fizzing slice of alt-pop, ‘Only Class6 From Now On‘ is propelled by a colourful energy as scuzzed-out hooks provide the backdrop for the soaring sultry power of Sophia De Geus’ vocals. Fusing together a rippling psychedelic haze with buoyant bubblegum pop, it features ADAM on guest vocals, creating a wonderfully eccentric and instantly infectious sonic-comic cacophony.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. So, to mark the release of ‘Only Class6 From Now On’ today, we caught up with Sophia from the band to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have shaped her as a musician. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch the brand new video for ‘Only Class6 From Now On’ at the end of the feature.

Lady GaGa – The Fame
I think Lady Gaga is our favourite pop queen of all. Both as a persona and as a songwriter. The Fame is an album filled with absolute bangers. Apart from the music, she also got me into fashion. Did you see her at the Met Gala 2019?! That was insane (the looks actually inspired the artwork of our new single). And there are so many hits on The Fame! ‘Just Dance’ itself was already iconic. I was 12 years old at the time and all my classmates were coming up with dance routines to perform on the weekly talent show our school was having. My favourite song of the album at the time was ‘Paper Gangsta’, but I’ll admit… I only said that because no one else would pick that song and I wanted to have a different opinion than my classmates. Now I’m pretty sure ‘Paparazzi’ is my favourite. Music video included. I love it. 

St. Vincent – St Vincent
I got into St. Vincent when we had a school assignment where we were dedicated to learn ‘Digital Witness’ and play it exactly how she meant it. I typed it in on YouTube and I was instantly obsessed with Annie Clarke. She is so beautiful and artistic. She has been a major inspiration for many Acidbabies songs. I love her songwriting, her way of showing femininity and her innovative way of playing the guitar. Mostly her interpretation of FUZZ. If it wasn’t for her I would have never bought my favourite instrument: The ZVEX Mastotron. 

The Kills – Midnight Boom
This is one of our oldest inspirations. When we didn’t care much about songwriting and pop music yet I got most of my inspiration from Alison Mosshart’s presence on stage. She is very bold and her movements are tight and thrilling. Also: this album sounds sooo SEXY! They are so good at combining rock and roll with electronic music. Such a big inspiration to us. I’m also a very big fan of Jaime Hince. His way of playing guitar reminds me of having a big growling wolf on the leash and just giving it the right amount of space. The Kills inspired me to acquire a pedal as well: DD3. One of the coolest delay pedals in my opinion. 

Soulwax – From Deewee
Soulwax are one of those acts that keeps amazing me time after time. I discovered them as a ’90s rock band and quickly fell in love with the quirky choices, raw drum computers, fuzzy beatbox bridges and interesting harmonies and was a fan right away. Then a few years later, I remember seeing a really good DJ act called 2ManyDJs on a Hungarian festival called Sziget. It was only after I got home I discovered that the two DJs were the same Dewaele brothers from Soulwax. They started to mix more and more electronics into their work which I loved – a personal favourite, the Nite Version of ‘Krack’. From Deewee is the summit of this journey towards the electronic. The synthesis fantasy of the Dewaele brothers seems endless. I especially like the super cool arpeggios venturing into adventurous chords that remind me of their ’90s rock days and their creative use of weird spring verbs on almost everything. What’s also super impressive to me is that they managed to keep the entire album interesting using almost the same BPM. Accompanied by three live drummers, their live show in Paradiso was one of the most impressive I’ve seen. The perfect combination between a club night and a live act.

Kero Kero Bonito – Intro Bonito
When we were kids Robin and I watched a lot of anime. Mostly Naruto. This made us big suckers for Japanese culture. I first came across Kero Kero Bonito while scrolling through the line-up of a festival I was attending. I heard ‘Sick Beat’ and I just loved it. It sounded so gamey and playful. Like there was an anime character rapping in a Casio keyboard paradise for game characters. I saw them play in a small venue and their way of performing was so different from anything else I’d ever seen. Just two DJ dudes with some cheap keyboards and Sarah singing with a stuffed animal in the form of a flamingo. How cool is that?

Massive thanks to Sophia from 45AcidBabies for sharing her Five Favourites! Watch the brand new video for ‘Only Class6 From Now On’ below:

EP: Deap Vally – ‘Digital Dream’

It’s often repeated that the enemy of art is the absence of limitations, but limitations can eventually outlive their usefulness – as Deap Vally discovered when cracks began to show in the band’s creative partnership. With two acclaimed albums of maximalist blues-rock behind them, Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards began to feel the strain of working democratically as a duo. The ‘enemy’, it turns out, could in fact be the absence of a deciding vote.

Going through a form of couples therapy helped them to re-evaluate and open up their process and, feeling rejuvenated, they set out to make an album of collaborations. Digital Dream is not that album, but it features four songs originally planned for it – each one distinct from the other and pointing in several interesting directions for Troy and Edwards to progress in.

For a band named Deap Vally, they certainly have a few friends in high places. The guestlist for Digital Dream reads like a page from the Who’s Who of the L.A. music scene: Peaches, KT Tunstall, Soko, Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint and Jamie Hince of The Kills all contribute. Behind-the-scenes videos from the recording process offer a glimpse into how these songs were pieced together, with experimentation, a little frustration and heaps of mutual respect. Those sessions took place way back in 2018, but ‘Look Away’ and, especially, ‘Digital Dream’ feel strangely relevant to our current situation. That Lindberg co-write ‘Look Away’, with its lovely three-way harmonies, is – by Deap Vally’s own standards – almost shockingly sedate. Vulnerability creeps into the framework of the song but a steely resistance remains at its core, driven by the confident, repetitive rhythm and the insistent command to not gaze too long at the past.

‘Digital Dream’ is something else altogether. Soko’s star turn here is as narrator from the year 2068 where human interaction is all but extinct and resistance to the post-apocalyptic technocracy is less than futile (think E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, without the redemptive arc). Together, the three women successfully build a Stockholm syndrome song-world, complete with atmospheric bleeps and blops, zeroing in on illusions of pleasure within the vividly dystopian context. Then, as the extended outro fades, we’re jolted back into the present with the cocksure swagger of ‘High Horse’. Tunstall, Troy and Edwards grandstand from the get-go – “I could be fucking anything I want / Yes, I’m driven, I use what I’m given” – and the chorus is close to euphoric. Things take a turn for the gloriously absurd when Peaches comes in with a typically audacious rap. Who else could rhyme ‘Devil Wears Prada’ with ‘boys on Truvada’ and ‘douche with java’ with ‘been to Bratislava’? It’s good, unpolished fun.

Finale ‘Shock Easy’ is less instantly attention-grabbing but reveals itself over several listens to be quite revelatory in its own right, with some masterful guitar work from Hince. A chilling reflection on the very American epidemic of mass shootings, it has the sort of detached, observational insight that made Sheryl Crow’s early albums so refreshing. “It was all too easy, now it’s all too heavy,” they rasp over blown-out drums and a starkly contrasting, almost-gospel backdrop that elevates and punctuates the song. It’s four for four, then, in terms of breaking all the Deap Vally ‘rules’ – and to largely great effect.

By following their instincts rather than self-imposed red lines, Troy and Edwards have discovered new doors where once they saw only walls. With more music promised later in the year, we won’t have to wait long to find out where they lead.

Listen to Deap Vally’s Digital Dream EP here.

Photo Credit: Kelsey Hart

Alan Pedder
@_neverdoneing

LISTEN: Hari Debi – ‘Bang’

A slow-burning guitar anthem that celebrates the power of female sexuality, London rockers Hari Debi have shared their latest single ‘Bang’. Accompanied by a smoking set of monochrome visuals featuring vocalist Maddy Jones cutting loose and enjoying herself in front of the lens, the track is a riff heavy ode to female desire that simmers with riotous passion.

Formed of Maddy, Mark Docherty (guitar), Jack Hall (bass) and Luis Bezzi (drums), Hari Debi take inspiration from The Kills, Saint Agnes and Dead Weather to create their bold rock and roll sounds. They released their first EP Loose Thread in 2020 and are planning to share a second EP later this year, with ‘Bang’ being the first taste of what’s to come.

“Musically the song is a metaphor for passion,” the four piece explain about the track. “It burns fast and frantic, then evens out into a slow riff before reigniting to an explosive conclusion.” Through Mark’s killer riffs and Maddy’s fervent vocals, the band celebrate the confidence and autonomy that comes with a healthy sexual appetite, even though women often experience sexist double standards when they choose to embrace their own.

Watch the video for ‘Bang’ below.

Follow Hari Debi on Spotify, Instagram &  Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Hari Debi – ‘Cabron’

Filled with gritty guitar riffs, snarling vocals and crashing percussion, London based Hari Debi have shared their latest single ‘Cabron’. Lifted from their debut EP Loose Thread, which is set for release on 25th September via We Can Do It Records, the track is a riotous take down of the industry gatekeepers who attempted to stand in the way of band’s authenticity.

Formed of Maddy Jones (vocals) and Mark Docherty (guitar), Hari Debi take inspiration from The Kills, Saint Agnes and Dead Weather to create their bold rock and roll sounds. On ‘Cabron’ – which literally means “dumbass goat” in Spanish – the pair channel their frustrations at a former manager into abrasive riffs and bittersweet vocals. Docherty produced, mixed and mastered the track himself, adding an extra cathartic edge to the track’s context.

Speaking about the track, the band explain: “‘Cabron’ is a tale of seeking revenge on a villainous figure. The figure in question is a seedy ex manager whom Hari Debi parted ways with due to false promises and financial skullduggery. In writing what we thought was a simple revenge story the song became something more: an anthem for any person who feels downtrodden by the actions of someone else. Whether you’re fighting for equality, have just been dicked over, or you just hate your boss, we hope ‘Cabron’ scratches that revenge itch and helps you through the day. Screw the people standing in your way, if you have a dream chase it.”

Listen to ‘Cabron’ below and follow Hari Debi on Facebook, and Spotify for more updates.

 

Pre-order your copy of Hari Debi’s debut EP Loose Thread here.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut