As we find ourselves ensconced in the G7 talks, we should always remember that not all Americans are on board their current administration. LA’s Broken Baby are releasing a new LP in September (on Texas’ Palo Santo Records). The first single from that self-title long player is “Year of the Fat Man.”
It doesn’t take long for one to realize that singer Amber Bollinger is not messing around. Her vocals and powerful as is her presence. It’s a solid video that keeps the men in the dark and shines a spotlight on the woman. The style of lighting feels apropos and long overdue.
Brainchild of wunderkind newcomer Amber Bollinger and rock veteran/producer Alex Dezen (The Damnwells), the duo wrote and recorded all the songs from their 2017 debut EP in the span of 2 weeks, honing their singular, DIY sound without pretension or extravagance. “We had no idea what we were doing,” says Dezen. “It was awesome.” Heading back into their studio later that year to begin work on their forthcoming self-titled LP, the 10 tracks that emerged a few months later brought their forthright vision to new, blistering heights.
“I cried a lot,” says Bollinger, laughing. “We just kind of put our heads down and plowed right into it,” says Dezen. “We didn’t worry about what we were supposed to sound like or what we should do.” “We mostly wore pajamas the whole time,” says Bollinger.
Their boomy, low-fi sound soothes and scrapes in equal measure, with Bollinger’s bright, wispy vocals turning into adrenal-fueled rants with little warning. Caught somewhere between The Pretenders, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Jesus Lizard, and with melodies reminiscent of Eurythmics, Broken Baby is a band for punching the air and driving a little too fast. “We want to make music that joyfully exorcises the demons,” says Bollinger, in a rare serious moment before promptly returning to her natural ebullient state. “What’s another word for ‘joyfully’? That word’s dumb.”