Fronted by Philadelphia (via Los Angeles, via Portland) songwriter Maya Bon, Babehoven make music in order to “process the struggles of daily existence, of familial trauma, of the processes of letting go.” Drawing on the bedroom pop aesthetic but sprawling out into folk, punk and garage rock too, the band maintain the closeness and immediacy of the former while transcending its limitations, creating a sound capable of taking on the challenge of such weighty themes.
After 2018’s EP Sleep, and follow-up SOLEMNIS which was released in March this year, Babehoven are set to release a brand new EP, Demonstrating Visible Difference of Height, early next year. Today, we’re delighted to share the second single, ‘Maybe I’m Bitter’, to really whet the appetites for the new album. With sound artist Ryan Albert (of Pornog, The Metabolic Studio) acting as an instrumentalist, engineer and co-producer, the track sees Babehoven unlock new levels in the development of their sound, and achieve their most fully-realised song to date.
Opening with a subtle wash of guitar and slowly growing in intensity, the song gathers an assortment of layers across its length that threaten to overwhelm the vocals, Bon fighting to be heard from the midst of a chaotic swirl. ‘Maybe I’m Bitter’ is concerned with “the emotional aftermath of a loss of home, a loss of trust, and a splintering of family.” Bon explains. “It is a personal attempt to encapsulate what dissociation feels like in my life.” Therefore, aside from making for an immersive sound, the style is fully in line with the wider themes, pushing into areas both surreal and uncanny in order to more fully represent the realities of life and trauma.
If I were an actor
I’d cut off all of my toenails
And put them inside a jar
Tell them it’s magical
To be somebody else
To make up someone else’s protein
I don’t need anything
I, I don’t need anything
‘Maybe I’m Bitter’ comes complete with a video by director and animator Brin Gordon, providing a suitably surreal companion to the single. Gordon’s work explores “the intersections and boundaries between forms of knowledge as diverse as poetics, science, and common sense to study the ways in which subjectivity is created and in turn creates the world around it,” and the video uses such ideas to represent the surreal fracturing of the song’s theme.