Artist of the Month: Cry Babe
Congratulations to the very first Artist of the Month, Cry Babe!
I was not put on this earth to look pretty. I was put on this earth to fuck shit up. I’m never reminded of that more than when I listen to Cry Babe. This doesn’t mean that the music they make isn’t beautiful. As a group, the band really is something special. It’s the kind of music that settles into your bones and makes your heart shake. Lead vocalist Anais Genevieve is a more subdued, punk-centric Florence Welch. She has the same grand, operatic range but her energy is different and unique. While her voice is angelic, but it’s the more guttural tones underlying it that draw you in. It’s a key example of the simmering, unstable anger that the band explores. What’s most satisfying is the way the band allows that anger to erupt at the most satisfactory moments. As individual artists, they seem to understand each other well. Such chemistry creates little moments of catharsis in their songs for each member.
“Johnny” is arguably their strongest song. It’s wonderfully weird. Genevieve runs away to a place the listener can’t follow with her strange and unfamiliar grunts, groans, and howls. They become sarcastically sexual. It sounds like Genevieve mocking outside interpretations of the noises her body produces. Drummer Rose Reinholz should be commended for her command of space and direction on “Johnny” as well. It could be easy to get lost in the song’s overwhelming vocals, but instead Reinholz directs the energy Genevieve is producing into a fast paced beat. She takes the song where it needs to go. Of course, none of this would be complete without bassist Madaline Putney. I don’t know if it makes sense to describe bass lines as friendly, but I really can’t think of any other word to describe her playing. It feels like she’s reaching out a helping hand during the chaos of the song, assuring the listener that they too have a place in this music.
Personally, as a “young person” Cry Babe really does feel like the perfect soundtrack to my life. On “Johnny”, Genevieve sings “I don’t want to go outside today, I wanna run and hide” over and over. It’s such a simple and clear way to explain vulnerability and fear in the face of dealing with the issues of everyday life. And like Jesus that is such a mood.