Gold Baby: Rabbits - EP Review
A debut EP can often be a statement of purpose. When a band has released multiple standalone singles, the first full body of work can feel like a declaration - “this is who we are” - a strong assertion of what makes the artist so special. In the case of London-based band Gold Baby and their stunning new EP, Rabbits, the statement is loud and clear: they are one of the best new bands around. Released just in time for Easter, Rabbits is an incredible listen.
Take the second track on the EP, 2041, as a microcosm of what makes Rabbits my favourite EP of the year thus far. The lyrics are gripping, with lead singer and songwriter Siân Alex standing at once defiant and vulnerable, and the instrumentation weaving through tempo changes and angular rhythms. It builds to a glorious crescendo, and the shout-along refrain of “and I said no!” is destined to be a highlight of every live show the band plays in future. The breakdown around the 1:45 mark is intense and dreamlike, and one of my favourite musical moments of the year – I can’t help but smile and bob along every time I listen!
The record blends together a range of influences, from dream-pop to grunge, but remaining unique in its musical identity. Whether it be the gorgeous singalong of second single Betty and its beautiful lead guitar lines, or the yearning, nostalgic beauty of opener Bodie and its tragic imagery, each track is distinctly part of its own wonderful world. A recurring theme of the EP is memories and nostalgia. Bodie captures these with lyrics looking back on old haunts, both metaphorical and literal, and what could have been: Alex’s chorus refrain of “I was promised gold” is a beautiful line that will stay with you long after the record ends. The way the song segues beautifully into the aforementioned 2041 is masterful sequencing, with each track reinforcing the record’s themes. Every song here would be a highlight on a lesser release – it’s testament to Gold Baby’s songwriting that all four songs are incredible in their own right, each playing to the band’s strengths and fulfilling the promise held in older singles such as 500/1 and Versailles.
The closing track, Captain Dorego, closes the EP on some of my favourite lyrics of the record. It’s a song that, to me, is about fantasy and escape, with delicate instrumentation shining a spotlight on Alex’s lyrics. “I’ll be the old man out at sea,” she sings in the chorus, “still and silent finally… can’t you see that this busy life was not cut out for someone like me?”. It’s a beautiful moment in a beautiful song. It’s understandable why this track was chosen as the lead single from the project – it’s catchy, thrilling, and moving all at once. It concludes the EP’s journey on a tender highlight.
Rabbits is not just my favourite EP of 2021 thus far, but a wonderful record by a new favourite band. I cannot recommend this release enough – everything about it glows with brilliance, from the
phenomenal instrumentation to the gorgeous painting on the cover art.
Key lyric: Lonely alone with you here is the loneliest place I’ve ever known.
Find Gold Baby at the following links: