If you like to party but don’t have any friends to do it with then North London indie-rockers Gold Baby are here to add a bit of spice to your lonely existence.
The quartet of Siân Alex (guitar and lead vocals), Sam Asbury (lead guitar and backing vocals), Andrew Myors (bass) and Ian Lee (drums) have labelled their slacker-pop meets grunge-pop debut single What Party? as “a party anthem for people with no friends.”
And it does seem an appropriate descriptor. It’s the kind of tune you’d stick on in your bedroom, dance around with the freedom of no-one watching and sing along to by yourself without being judged by your friends. Or, as Ian puts it, “If Kim Deal had accidentally eaten too many Dip Dabs and spent the evening at a Taylor Swift show.”
The band’s roots come from Siân and Sam going to college together, but they didn’t actually play music together for a while as they had their own projects and lived in different cities across the UK. But when Siân moved to London she scoured the music scene for musicians and, after a few lineup changes, landed on two old friends that she’d previously overlooked, Sam and Andrew – whose girlfriends, incidentally, are also in a band called DOLLS, who we’ve just had a listen to and are also great.
Gold Baby released their debut single What Party? on Friday, which offers an intriguing first introduction to the band. The track opens up with a cool little riff then interesting vocal delivery of the verse, with a drawn-out first phrase “I miss my friends, I haven’t got any” answered by a faster retort in the second “I left them unread, unanswered, now I got what I deserved.”
It drops into a laid-back chorus of “What party, raise your hands if you wanna go home,” followed by a more energetic burst of guitars. The pace then cools off a little with a few guitar licks over a stabbing bassline, then gradually builds up with Sam’s vocals “Are you still there, Are you still watching, I brushed my hair especially, Got out of bed especially” feeding into a more lively final chorus alongside the opening riff. Check it out in the stream below:
On the track, Siân told us: “The lyrical content and the core of the song for me feels very claustrophobic and comes from a kind of self-inflicted cabin fever, that bizarre kind of needy but antisocial juxtaposition that comes from being in a certain place in your head… I think the way the guys brought the track to life in the practise room articulates that weird feeling well. Somehow it’s ended up being a fun song about a particular kind of misery.”
And on what inspires her to write music, Siân explains: “I definitely started writing music as a coping mechanism for stuff going on around me when I was younger and it ended up being a sort of tool I used to process things going on in life, particularly mental health stuff.
“I’ve tried over the last few years though to broaden the spectrum of what I write about; to write about other people, other times, from other angles and perspectives and just generally get some more colours on my pallet. It can be pretty limiting only ever writing from a personal perspective. I love bands like Hop Along where each song is like a short story.”
The Gold Baby sound has been shaped by Siân’s love for wordsmiths like Fiona Apple, Sufjan Stevens, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, and the band’s collected interest in American indie-rock from the 90s, like Weezer, Pavement, Superchunk and Throwing Muses.
The band will release their second single on 5 December, ahead of which they’re playing at DIY Space for London on 25 October. More info here.