Here is the premiere of the excellent debut video from Seattle-based Babes in Canyon. At the heart of ‘Second Cities’ is a thumping, pulsing beat, over which brilliantly catchy melodic hooks captivate the listener alongside intriguing, atmospheric lyrics: “I’m bored, so turn off the lights // Turn off the lights, turn off the lights // Then kill it // I’m the one, the ink, the scum // You scrub from the walls of your motel windows…We’re just so high // That the way back down // The way back down is so far // We’re just so lost // In the second cities so far removed from our own.” With soaring harmonies, confident musicianship and textured sonic layers, Babes in Canyon manage to create an expansive contemporary folk sound that crosses genres. With Jerry Streeter (Brandi Carlile , Darlingside) on production duties, Babes in Canyon’s rich, warm music is transporting. Displaying excellent songcraft, the band use devices like lyrical repetition and musical pauses to build tension effectively. The well-shot video enhances the mood, adding a sense of urgency to the song and focusing on journeys through multiple beautiful locations.
Babes in Canyon singer, Nathan Hamer, is better know for his work with folk-pop outfit Kuinka. Over the year’s, Kuinka’s sound has evolved, moving away from its folk origins. Hamer wanted to return to the music that had inspired his earlier song-writing. Hamer explains: “I felt a strong urge to go back to my roots. There’s a passion and feeling I get when writing folk songs that I don’t experience the same way with other music. I wanted to start a project that spoke specifically to that.” So it was that Hamer found himself stranded in a remote cabin with his fiancée Amanda Ebert and, in their isolation, the two began writing together. Hamer continues: “We lost power one night and started playing around with music by firelight to entertain ourselves. I came up with a melody and was humming along with my baritone uke. Amanda wrote out lyrics to an entire song in one sitting. That became the first track for Babes in Canyon.” For a fuller sound, the couple brought Michelle Nuño into the group. Hamer says: “She’s an incredibly
talented drummer and a recent self-taught bassist. We sat in for a session and everything clicked. We tried to create a sonic landscape of standing on a mountain just after a storm when the first beams of sunlight start to break through the clouds.” The highlight of ‘Second Cities’ is Nathan Hamer’s distinctive, emotive voice; buoyed by Ebert’s backing and keys, it rises rhythmically – absorbing stuff.
‘Second Cities’ is the title track from the band’s forthcoming EP, which is due for release on 3rd June 2022. On the strength of this single, it promises to be one to look out for. Enjoy.