The twee-pop scene of Richmond has a fresh face from local band Big Baby. The band’s second EP, Sour Patch, was dropped on July 15. Mixing lo-fi vibes with pop-y vocals and harmonies, Ali Mislowsky (guitar, vocals), Chris Smith (guitar), and Brian Dove (drums) providing music lovers with the pop charm we need.
“It’s this movement opposing the punk movement in the UK in the 90s, and there were people just starting bands, and maybe they weren’t the best at their instrument,” said Mislowsky on the beginnings of twee-pop. “They’re just doing it because they wanted to do it. That’s a comforting scene because there’s no pressure to be really good at what you’re doing.”
Photo by Post-Cognitive Photography
However, after listening to Sour Patch, the trio carry their own quite well in this latest release instrumentally. In comparison with their first EP, Dumb Guys, the sound is noticeably better, thanks to a transition to a professional practice space.
“There’s a huge leap in quality,” said Dove. Sour Patch’s slower, plucky sound mixes with the tight harmonies. The lyrics of longing, dissatisfaction, and more are juxtaposed to Big Baby’s bright sound, even though the tempos are slower than that of Dumb Guys.
Dumb Guys was a three-song record written by Mislowsky released in May 2016, mostly for the purpose of getting their name out into the music scene. Although the band’s lo-fi pop sound really shined here, Mislowsky said she felt more confident with her writing and the band’s sound with the next five songs she wrote for Sour Patch.
“They kind of go together better thematically than Dumb Guys. It feels like a more official release,” she said.
Big Baby expressed on their bandcamp page that it was written during a very dark time, despite the songs being catchy and poppy.
“Sour Patch is about the worst year I had after graduating college. I couldn’t catch a break and it felt like everything was crumbling from every direction. I wrote the songs during that time, and picked them out for the EP. “Lemons” is the first song we wrote as Big Baby, and “Everybody” was written in early 2017. The rest span the year or so in between. They’re upbeat, poppy and bouncy but I wrote a lot of the lyrics in tears. “
The band also attributes their evolution to partnering with local label Egghunt Records. “They can offer way more than when you just release three songs on the Internet yourself,” said Mislowsky. “They have a lot of press resources. We were part of the Hatched subscription series,” which boosted the band in the eyes of local subscribers.
Neo-soul electronica artist Dazeases, rock group Camp Howard and alt-punk quartet Doll Baby make up the rest of the Hatched subscription series from Egghunt.
The band itself may only be a year and a half old, the trio are no strangers to the Richmond music scene. Dove and Smith both play in Citrus City ‘s power-jangle quartet, Young Scum with Mislowsky singing some backing vocals occasionally. Dove also plays guitar/sings in Richmond indie rock group, Antiphons.
Being in multiple bands actually offers a great artistic support system. “It’s super supportive – at least the community we’re a part of,” said Smith.
Although a full-length album doesn’t seem to be in the works quite yet for Big Baby, the trio hope to go on tour at some point in the future. “I want to do a tour. We’ve never played out of town deliberately,” said Mislowsky.
You can catch Big Baby at Champion RVA on East Grace Street alongside Camp Howard and Dazeases on Aug 31. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming show review of the band’s recent performance at Sound of Music Studios