London’s GoldBaby 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 SiânAlex, 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 SpeedyOrtiz and HopAlong 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’re no-one
You are not the dogbone Or the wishbone Or the rerun Or the shit on my phone
1. Who are you and how did you meet? We are Siân, Sam, Andrew & Ian. I (Siân) started putting Gold Baby together last year. After coming to London thinking of meeting tons of new musicians, the final line up of the band after a few changes ended up being 3/4 people from Nottingham – Sam, Ian & I met in the music department of Bilborough College in Notts when were just 16. I think 16 year old me would have been buzzing about playing in a band with these guys.
2. What’s best: playing a big venue full of strangers, or a small pub full of friends? A small pub full of friends can end up being a really special night, but it’s hard to compare without having experienced the former. We’ll let you know after the stadium tour..
3. Recommend a record and a book that you think our readers might not have heard of. I feel weird about presuming anyone hasn’t heard of anything, so I’m gonna go ahead and just recommend a record I listened to a lot last year which influenced the writing for the band and that’s ‘Star’ by Belly, an early 90’s band led by the brilliant TanyaDonnelly. They’re playing in London on June 20th!
I recently finished a book called The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a collection of short stories that follows the paths of Nigerian women in Nigeria and America and it’s my favourite kind of book – the kind that is both enthralling, suffused with wisdom and beauty but also which offers you a new perspective on something or tells you more about a world you know little about. The stories of relationships between men and women, parents and children, between friends and family are universal and her writing style is beautiful.
4. One for the guitarists … bore us with the details of your set-up please. My favourite pedal is my dark glass electronics microtubes vintage, it’s a low gain overdrive pedal that just gives everything a warmth – I leave it on almost always. I’ve got my RAT distortion for when I want to dig in a bit harder and I love my TC electronics Corona Chorus which is really versatile and vibey. Sam and I both play fender strats.
5. What’s the best thing about being in your band? For me, I just love playing with Sam, Andrew & Ian. There’s something so exciting about taking a song idea to three people who are awesome at what they do and having it turn into something totally different, it feels magic. We all love playing live as well.
6. What are your band goals?
This year we just want to get on as many people’s radar as possible and play loads of shows! We all love writing and playing live and the best part of all of that of course is interacting with people, people getting on board with what we’re doing.
7. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now?
That we have two tracks, Duppy and Feed It! on spotify, bandcamp, soundcloud and all the other internet places you can think of. Have a listen and if you’re into it, tell your friends about us and come along to a show 🙂
8. Give your top 5 contemporary bands. Car Seat Headrest – I think we’re all a bit obsessed with the prolific, poetic genius of Will Toledo
Dinosaur Jr – huge band inspiration
Dream Wife – these ladies are so much fun
Parquet Courts – Andrew & Sam talk about these guys all the time, so thought I’d stick them on here!
Wilco – just like nothing else. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of my all time favourites. What a gem.