This Beach Baby article was written by Jamie Muir, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Adam Skirving.
Cold winter days turn into cold winter nights, and sometimes there’s no way of staying warm. If only Mother Nature had known that the spirit of summer lives on, in the glitter fuzz bodies of Beach Baby: who’ve slowly grown from meandering members of the pack into a bonafide pop force to be reckoned with. Over the course of the past 18 months, the London quartet have delivered track after track of pure indie-pop gold, laced in the shimmering city in which it was born into and transporting listeners to the clear sunset strip of post-punk daydreams. That transformative power was in full effect at the Old Blue Last on a chilly Tuesday night in January.
Part of DIY Magazine’s Hello 2016 series of events, the night was brimmed with a diverse collection of tipped industry game-changers. None make more of a statement than Girli, who can only be described as Charli XCX’s more abrasive and volatile cousin. Few would get away with sampling Katie Hopkins, but Girli’s ferocious rhymes played out over twisted pop beats somehow come together to form a powerful package. Anyone who can end their set by chucking tampons and sanitary towels into the audience is definitely one close to making their definitive statement.
Yonaka are quite a different proposition, delivering reverb drenched pulsating rock that marries the explosive undertones of Black Sabbath with the catchy sensibilities that have catapulted Royal Blood to such worldwide acclaim. Vocalist Theresa Jarvis is in a world of her own, commanding the attention of the ale-drinking swarm in front of her, with a style that switches from Anthony Kiedis in full flow to the primal screams of any rock siren of the early 90s. Their melodic pop prowess is sure to propel them to greater things over the next 12 months.
For headliners Beach Baby, they take to the stage as the fully formed band of the moment that they’ve been threatening to become over the past year. With a catalogue of spacious pop, they are captivating in their effortless performance, gliding from track to track with a swaggering ease that most bands would pay to be able to pull off. Opener “No Mind, No Money” showcases the sensational harmonic connection between the dual vocalists known as Ollie and Lawrence, bouncing off each other to form a transparent sheen to their mesmeric sound. “Ladybird” is a melancholic dream that tremors and ruptures under it’s sheer beauty, whilst recent single “Limousine” draws closer to the garage-rock edge that elevated Foals to success, yet unlike Yannis & cois perfectly restrained in it’s orchestrated response. Such intensity is evident in new single “Sleeperhead” which sees the band lock into a bewitching groove that transcends this East London shack into a mountainous landscape of undeniable melodic perfection.
Connected, tight and focused, Beach Baby tonight demonstrated why they have the posture and style to steal many more hearts on their ascent to underground stardom. Packed with enough swoon to make a lamppost buckle, their collection of loved-up serenades and exploratory new wave pop will be captivating much larger audiences in the months and years to come.