Photo by Keira Anee
London’s Gold Baby play the kind of breezy fuzz-pop that raises the hairs on your arms, and the soles of your shoes too. They’ve been storming the DIY gig scene lately, fast becoming what the PR slicksters call ‘ones to watch’. So we’ve gone and booked them for a LOUD WOMEN show at the Hope & Anchor on 11 April, so we can all get to see ’em before they get enormous! In the meantime, Gold Baby’s powerhouse Siân Alex, told us in her own words all about their gorgeous new single, ‘Dogbone’.
Dogbone is the sound of screaming that you don’t care about something, when the fact that you have to say it at all, shows how much you do.
It’s weird, I didn’t realise that until I’d written it. I thought I was writing a song about how sad it is when memories are reframed by the things that come along afterwards that change the way you look back on them. I kept coming back to this idea that memories can change colour with time. I wanted to feel sentimental about certain things and I just didn’t anymore; I felt numb and I thought it was the saddest thing ever. But by the time we’d recorded the track, I realised that all that energy I’d used trying to tell myself and everybody else how much of a shit I didn’t give, was only proof of how much I still cared. It was therapeutic.
Listening back, I can hear how much my mentality at that time played into the songwriting and arrangement and how it’s influenced what the band has become. I’d been putting my heart and soul into Gold Baby and we just had such unfortunate luck with band members which meant that for a long time nothing took hold, we were always rebuilding. Each time someone left, I took it personally. I wondered what more I could be giving, and I compromised a little more of my creative vision. I was trying to be accommodating but by the time I started writing Dogbone I was seeing it in a new light – my fear of ever being the boss, my over-awareness of being fair and accommodating was like driving in a bus with no direction and asking people if they wanted to get on board.
I was listening to a lot of Speedy Ortiz and Hop Along at the time, two of my favourite bands, both led by strong women who’ve spoken either in their music or in interviews about being a woman working with others in music. I think it’s a real insidious habit for women, one we sometimes don’t know that we have, to undermine ourselves and our ideas or abilities for the fear of being bossy or naggy. I was writing Dogbone at a time when I finally had a little fire in my belly, an overwhelming desire to kick out, take up space and stop deferring to others. I was angry, mostly with myself. I sat down and wrote this guitar part I couldn’t play yet and went on in the studio to record way too many guitar parts that we ended up cutting. I felt like I was throwing myself through a wall I’d built in my brain, just to show myself what I was capable of.
That seems like a long time ago now, in the way that things sometimes do when circumstances feel very different to the ways that they once did. Gold Baby now consists of myself, Scott and Sara. Sara came on board shortly after we recorded Dogbone and Scott and I worked on Dogbone together with the brilliant mind of Ian Flynn, who produced the track. The band feels like a family now, and together we’ve been writing, rehearsing and gigging as much as possible over the last six months, building something strong, open and honest together that feels like what Gold Baby was always destined to be. Now we’re just looking to the future, making plans to gig, record and get out there as much as possible.
We’re currently recording an EP for release in the spring and are writing our first album. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on and are very excited to take 2020 by storm.
Siân Alex x
Dogbone – Gold Baby – Lyrics
Am I supposed to be sentimental?
Am I supposed to keep the way I felt
Keep all the photos inside my wardrobe door..
There was the first time, decayed in my mind
Why does the hangover have to come last?
We could have framed it, but then you changed it
The wind blows and some things stick like that
And it doesn’t mean shit to me now
It doesn’t mean shit
I got enough friends
I’ve got enough things
I’ve got enough memories to peruse
I cleared the house out
I got your stains out
yet all I see is you
And it doesn’t mean shit
it doesn’t mean shit
You are not the only one
You’re not the hope that I hang myself from
You’re not too long in bed or the song in my head
You are not the dogbone
Or the wishbone
Or the rerun
Or the shit on my phone
You are not the drunk drive home
Not the length that I can’t go alone
You can’t have 3am or the time that it might take to mend
You are not my anyone
Not the name on the phone to my mom
Not the draw or the cut or the bruise in my gut