Total Babe

Compared to the bands I’m about to use to describe them, Total Babe could be named Just Babes. Still in their teens, this Minnesota quartet just performed their EP release party in their hometown and one of their mother’s baked brownies for the event. But their songwriting skills belie their ages. Oh the hooks! I was just listening to The Wishing Chair by 10,000 Maniacs and there’s a similarity in the two bands’ vocal deliveries, the languid enunciation, the stringing together of syllables from adjacent words, the way the vocals sound as if they’re sung in some other Germanic language. Or imagine Lush unplugging and dropping their tempo a notch. That’s it sort of— Total Babe strips away the feedback, the distortion, and the droning from the shoegaze aesthetic, leaving room for their heavenly vocals to breathe. Surprisingly, mature musical decisions for a young, fresh band.

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The title of this first UltraChorus track reminds me of my five-year-old. He started talking later than most children do and he often uses his own syntax and vocabulary (he named his stuffed puppy LLPP, pronounced “lil-lip”). When he gets tired of listening to me, or anyone for that matter, he’ll shake his hands and say, “Too many words, Dad.” We’ve quickly adapted, for better or for worse, his version of English and whenever we’re bored of anyone’s verbal tirades, anytime their words keep talking and we’ve stopped listening, we shake our hands and repeat our kid’s mantra. Their single artwork offers a keen graphic representation of this “too many words” phenomenon.

Musically, I can’t get enough of UltraChorus. These boys from Minneapolis have got pep! Chris from the band used to be in Sukpatch, and his latest project is an extension of the bedroom beats he cranked out for Grand Royal way back in the ’90s. Add the words “bubblegum disco” to the mix and you’ve got an idea of the party this duo dishes out.

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