By Jayleen Rolon
Kirsten 'Kiki' Frances Urbas and Cameron Breithaupt, professionally known as Babygirl, are a pop rock duo who self describe their music as “pop songs with sad guitars.” Their fanbase has been accumulating since their debut, although they are definitely not well known.
Their newest EP “Losers Weepers,” which goes well title-wise with their previous EP “Lovers Fevers,” is a true blend of the genres of pop and rock. As I was listening to the songs, I thought more and more that their description of “pop songs with sad guitars” captures their sound so accurately. At points the sound reminded me of creative rock-esque covers of pop hits.
The best example of this is “Million Dollar Bed,” which expresses the sentiment of chasing fame and fortune to fill the void of a heartbreak, but knowing that amidst all the luxury there will still be desire for that person. Lyrics like “Own as many puppies as Cruella De Ville / Bentleys and Ferraris, a house on the hill” paint the image of wealth that is common in pop stars, typically followed by the price of that fame. The price of fame and fortune is a topic celebrities are very expressive about, from “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga to “Piece of Me” by Britney Spears, and Babygirl’s “Nevermind” is no exception as the next line is “But in my million dollar bed I’ll dream about you still.”
Ultimately, the EP morphs the expectations of rock music to shift away from the loud and aggressive instrumental and vocals that tend to revolve around social commentary and protest popularized by artists like Nirvana and The Beatles.
My personal favorite “Easy,” a gentle song about admiring someone leaving without acknowledgement of a relationship because they are unbothered, is a great example of the destruction of traditional expectations, and the fact that it opens the EP does not go unnoticed. The softer sound of the song while maintaining the repetition that makes a song memorable separates it from the typical rock song, as well as the optimistic view of heartbreak. “Easy, got me all nervous, all needy / I even love it when you treat me / Like you don't even see me,” sings Urbas in the chorus.
While “Losers Weepers'' abandons the traditional sound of Rock ‘n’ Roll to embrace the advantages of pop music, rock still has a major influence on Babygirl’s sound. The bass guitar and drums are a consistent part of the instrumental throughout the EP, an integral part of the rock genre that tends to be lost in mainstream pop to be replaced by a more synthesized sound.
“Nevermind,” a high energy track that discusses the nonchalant dismissal of one partner both in and out of a relationship, is the most exaggerated example of the way Babygirl embraces the rock aspect of their music. The way the instrumental builds as all the instruments join in for the chorus is reminiscent of rock music, complete with the use of the drum sticks to count off the beats before the entrance of the drums. Another unique aspect of “Nevermind” is the presence of background vocals, especially in the chorus, that emulate the multi-singer trend in rock. “You blow my mind / But nevermind,” sings Urbas in the upbeat yet heartbreaking chorus.
“Losers Weepers” doesn’t fit completely into either the pop or rock genre, however it does pay tribute to those major influences on the music world. If you plan to give this underground duo a chance, lose all prior expectations of those two genres, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the creativity of the band’s approach to loss.