Album Review: BABii - 'Hide'
BABii’s debut album HiiDE was released on July 5th. Her amalgamation of different electronic subgenres, mixed with her ethereal vocals creates a unique sounding album that successfully explores the emotions of heartbreak. Whilst, in contrast using icy sonic textures. Although it’s undeniable that BABii falls within the alt-pop scene and comparisons between her unique sounds and those like Grimes and FKA twigs can be made. It is undeniable that this wonderfully odd young lady’s sound falls in its own category.
I stumbled upon the Margate local in london’s South Bank Centre a few months ago. A friend asked me to come to a small concert, having no idea who I was performing I said yes and showed up. Her performance exceeded any expectations I had. A tiny girl kneeling behind her equipment with a high pitched voice excitedly telling the eclectic group of people that she was going to perform a few songs. She was immediately effortlessly cool.
This effortlessly cool exudes through to her album. BABii has said that the nine piece album is best listened to in order, because all though each track drips with drama and dizzying sounds alone. It is in the context of HiiDE’s track-listing they become parts of an all encompassing whole.
There’s a dichotomy that pushes through the whole album and is evident in the opener “SYMMETRii”. The industrial tones and drum machine beat paired with BABii’s ethereal voice is both hostile and endearing. But this dichotomy mirrors BABii’s songwriting talents since she is singing about hard hitting gritty topics yet in a very airy feminine voice. These talents are evident in songs such as “CARNiiVORE”, in her most vulnerable moments on the album. Since this song uses metaphors, “I fell in love with a carnivore’ to explore an ex as a predator of both the heart and animal kingdom, exploring the sacrifice of identity that can occur in a human relationship. These moments of vulnerability within the album keep it from becoming all icy sounds and detached vocals and provide a lightness in contrast to the grit of songs like ‘VOLCANO’. Injecting moments of warmth into the album when it needs it. This blunt ability is continued in ‘PHANTOM’ with the line ‘should have been a forest fire but instead I got the embers’. Perhaps a reflection on a past lover and how expectation can create false hopes.
BABii has created a refreshing piece of art that is not only delectable to the ear but also the mind. I would highly recommend checking out HiiDE and I watching out for what this strong female artist does in the future.
Words by Juno Harley Davies