BABii has released an intelligent, incredibly forward-thinking debut album, with HiiDE, via Deathwaltz Originals. Her synth- pop has somewhat of an urban vibe, featuring skittering beats and thick, layered synths combined with heavy industrial bass. She juxtaposes her dark lyrics with innocent vocals are sweet, combining brilliant pop hooks with the formidable industrial sounds, throwing together naivety and abandonment. With notable similarities to the likes of FKA Twigs and Zola Jesus, she will get plenty interest from critics and fans, but it is clear BABii is definitely doing her own thing here, creating paradoxical worlds.
Apparently BABii’s childhood dreams are the entire reference for the embodied aesthetic of the album. It could be anything from wanting to be the childlike empress in a never ending story, to cool trainers, to trying to make music that feels like the a Disney soundtrack, to the exciting calmness of being in a lorry on an empty road at night. This combination of the nightmare and dream is apparent in the sound of Hide, as it pulls you in opposite directions often throughout the thirty-five minutes.
The LP was made at a time when all was a bit arduous, she had moved home after her band had fallen apart, which broke her self-esteem, which added to the feelings of loss that are clearly written on HiiDE. Producer Adrian Sherwood asked Margate-based BABii to come to his studio and make an album and so, HiiDE was made. An album enriched by a diversity of emotions.
Giving thought to the aesthetic sound and how it resonates with the listener, BABii has created an album of bittersweet gems. SYMMETRii is a fusions of repetitive, oriental sounds and minimal synth, icy to say the least. CARNiiVORE, with lyrics such as, “battle to the ground, broken and bound,” is lyrically savvy against a shady urban vibe. “I lost my breathe to a phantom ex, and I lost my tongue when I use my lungs,” is to be found on PHANTOM, clearly a focus here on a formidable relationship, combining synth with percussion to create somewhat of a complex, layered track, perhaps a representation of the relationship. SKiiN bears a relentless feeling of loss throughout this track, “you are far from forgotten, you are close to faking, but only in my mind.” POiiSON, which is about being in a toxic relationship but continue even though it’s no good, is a gruelling listen, aesthetically produced to conjure a queasy feeling in the listener. Effectively evocative, BABii’s music brings to life her suffering at that moment in time. HiiDE is a fantastic compilation of tracks, that neither allow you to float or dwell, a plethora of emotions over the nine songs.
HiiDE is out now, via Deathwaltz Originals.