Brooklynites Amazing Baby have just released their debut album, Rewild. We have a Rewild prize pack to give away to a randomly selected LAEM subscriber. To be in with a chance of winning, just leave a message under this post telling us why Amazing Baby are indeed Amazing. Baby!
The prize pack includes:
* A signed 7″ picture vinyl of Pump Yr Brakes.
* A signed triangular tour poster. It’s isoceles-triangle-shaped and has the same image as on the vinyl.
* A copy of Rewild on CD, which has a die-cut O-Card sleeve featuring a collage by Cameron Michel, designed by Rvng Intl.
rewild, v: to return to a more natural or wild state; the process of undoing domestication. Synonyms: undomesticate, uncivilize.
With regard to album titles, Rewild is as apt a mission statement as Brooklyn band Amazing Baby could get. Formed out of the remnants of many a Brooklyn band, Rewild is the product of love and sustaining the loss of it, a car crash, a fourteen-piece orchestra, and the desire to make sense of – or escape — their surroundings. “We are fascinated with escapism and creating small worlds that can stand alone or be connected as stories within the context of our album,” says lead singer Will Roan, and with Rewild, Amazing Baby has created what can only be described as an epic, each song a chapter. Sonically it spans genre, serving as a collection of every note the members have ever heard, from the depths of black metal to the high sighs of glam rock and sugary pop. And while Roan sings, “we write the songs for fun” on jangly foot-stomper “Kankra”, the sum of these songs is more than that. They are songs of catharsis, anthems of evolution, the marriage of feral emotionality with a deep intellectualism. Rewild is the sound of raw progress.
The evolution of regression began when guitarist Simon O’Connor and Roan met in 2005, mutual admirers of each other’s bands (Stylofone and Lions and Tigers, respectively). When both outfits imploded, the duo found themselves cast together in office drudgery, at a company that provided ringtones to customers (“You choose the most ringtone-able 30 seconds of a song, obscure the profanities, put it in a zip file and send it to Verizon. When I took the job I thought it was going to be a lot more musical,” explains O’Connor.) The two quickly bonded in the week Roan trained O’Connor, and also found an integral addition to the nascent project: guitarist Rob Laasko (Diamond Nights) worked in the same office, just feet away. “It was like this limbo for musicians who didn’t know what the next step should be,” O’Connor says. After days spent behind computer screens, the pair would retire to O’Connor’s house, Roan working on vocal melodies and O’Connor carving out chord progressions, before bringing it to guitarist Rob Laasko, omitting little from the lush and laden compositions.
That these post-work recording sessions would develop into the band’s Infinite Fucking Cross EP was unbeknownst to O’Connor and Roan at the time; the object was in the doing, and not the product. “Both of our previous musical endeavors were very catered toward a certain theme or audience,” O’Connor says. “With Amazing Baby, the goal was to do the opposite. I thought ‘Why not just make an album for myself with my friend?'” After recording their EP, the band posted the songs on MySpace, and within days accolades and offers flooded in. With so much attention garnered in such little time, the band realized they needed to form a live band. With Laakso secured, drummer Matt Abeysekara (another ringtone alumnus) signed on, and after a few months of searching, bassist Don Devore joined up. While O’Connor and Roan may have been the only two present at the band’s inception, it credits each member as integral to the music the band performs today.
With each new member came a new set of influences, all of which are heard on Rewild. “I think we’ve gotten a style together,” says Roan of the band’s progression, “[The songs] fit together and work as a whole.” Indeed, from the Pulp-esque glam pop of “Bayonets” to the gauzy calypso of “Roverfrenz,” the band integrate varying elements, making their sound at once vaguely familiar and completely innovative. “Kankra,” named for a deity, in part an ambivalent love song, constructed out of the chord progressions and song structures Roan loves best. “That song, more than a lot of others, is built on the joy of creating a world within a song,” he says. Guitar squalls meet a girl-group-era shuffle on heartbreaker “Headdress,” a song culled from a formative heartbreak of Roan’s, and revisited throughout the album. “It sounds relatively specific,” O’Connor says. “But the lyrics are relatable to almost any time anyone’s ever been in a relationship and made a mistake.”
“The process by which [Rewild] was made, and the process through which the band embodies that aesthetic” has everything to do with the concept of rewilding, Roan explains. “It’s an evolution through regression, a step forward in being more primal.” In the band’s search for progress, Amazing Baby first had to sift through their experiences, discern and discard, and arrive at a collection of things loved best.