Baby Fire's latest EP is as soothing as a summer rain.
Recently I was sick at home with a fever, sweating in my apartment with my fan a foot away from my body. I felt trapped in a fog, unable to relax. Despite the rain pouring down, I decided to walk to the bodega to get some ginger ale. It felt incredible, clearing my mind and cooling my body without making me break into a fit of shivers like my artificial air conditioning. The EP Water/Indigo from the Tokoyo-based dream pop band Baby Fire has a similar effect on me. At just two songs, it lasts as long as a walk to the bodega in back, with all the sense of serenity and release brought by that soothing rain.
Baby Fire draws comparisons from contemporaries like Asobi Seksu for their songs that jump from English to Japanese on Water / Indigo. The first of the two songs is "Water," which starts with some bare guitar noodling and vocalizing. The band then adds some synths from a hypothetical coming-of-age movie before breaking into a sweeping and romantic chorus. Shoegaze and dream pop as genres get lots of flak for sounding like lesser versions of the same thing, but this song stands up to the best of the genre. At any given point it’s difficult to distinguish what language vocalist Akko is using in her lyrics, but her words blend in with her vocalizations to become just part of the sound. Her voice is not the most traditional, but its sometimes yowl-ish quality adds to the music’s shuffling DIY charm. “Indigo” has an innocent bounce with a hint of country flavor. The song is seemingly about attraction, with Akko repeating “Indigo I like that color / Indigo I like your color,” either talking about a person’s aura or maybe just their jeans. On both songs, the band mostly keeps it light and cute, but there’s enough teeth during the breakdowns to hint at the band getting bigger with their sound as they continue grow.
Listen to Baby Fire on bandcamp.
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Mo Wilson is a writer who enjoys collecting posters and still has a CD player. You can find him on twitter @sadgayfriendx.