Babes is a band of family members from Los Angeles, California who officially emerged on the scene in 2014.
The band released its untitled debut EP on Oct. 30, and it has become known as “Five Tears” from the colorful teardrop designs on the otherwise white cover.
The album could easily be marketed as a concept album on the premise of a child’s trip to the circus. The listening experience is dreamlike, with both upbeat, sad and mellow, positive songs. Faster-paced tracks give the feeling of suspense, and right when it feels like the climax is about to be reached, the song ends abruptly and moves on to the next.
This is the same fashion by which a child’s attention is easily swayed from one exciting event to another, switching from suspense directly to resolution without closure or climax, not necessarily a negative thing. Many narratives in the literary world are left open ended for the reader or, in this case, the listener to make of it what they will.
The illusion of childhood’s whimsical attention span continues in the lyrical content. They include complex themes of love and lost but are conveyed in very simple lines as if being interpreted through the eyes of a child. Some of these include “I want love,” “I need love,” “I don’t ever wanna make me feel sad” and “there’s no hope” expressed in the most oblivious and innocent tones available.
There is a remarkable amount of musical variety on this album. The band puts no limits on instrumentation, using mixtures of acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizers, claps and maracas. The vocals range from sounding like the female reincarnation of Layne Staley to Loretta Lynn to a folksy Simon and Garfunkel sound.
The entire piece holds itself together in a melodic fashion. The vocals have the authority to take any song in any direction but will occasionally step back for some cotton candy or circus peanuts, and the guitar will be the star of the show and speak for the song.
The range of themes leaves something to be desired, but all in all “Five Tears” is a solid album from a band worth keeping an eye out for in the future.