For awhile, I only ever saw or heard Amazing Baby mentioned as one among the many proliferating Brooklyn/Wesleyan bands, and usually in the same sentence as MGMT. Descriptions of their “psychedelic” music didn’t do much to distinguish them from the others, and neither did this video for “Pump Yr Brakes”. And an opportunity to form an actual opinion was lost when they couldn’t make it to their scheduled show at Eclectic in January.
A few months later, they’ve done quite a bit to break out from the pack since their UK trip with MGMT last year: playing a successful run at SXSW, touring all over the place, getting excellent early reviews for their debut album “Rewild” before its official release next week, and rocking hard enough to earn lofty comparisons to the likes of T. Rex and Frank Zappa.
Rolling Stone named Amazing Baby a Breaking Artist this week:
On their stunning debut album Rewild (out this month), Amazing Baby deliver tunes that are at times thoroughly vintage and refreshingly futuristic: “The Narwhal” sounds like Led Zeppelin at their druggiest and most mystical; “Invisible Place” soars and swoops like Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” and “Kankra” builds into such an anthemic frenzy, you’ll be oozing serotonin for days.
The crew also have a wonky sense of humor […] “We’re all like super emotional screwed up dudes,” says [Will] Roan. “It’s not all about raging songs — we’ve got a pretty strong sense of musical aesthetics, even if our lyrics are totally ridiculous sometimes.”
A strong endorsement! Psychedelic turns out to be an appropriate descriptor of the music, but find out for yourself. Download “Smoke Bros” for free on their site, and listen to more tracks on Myspace.
The band started as a loosely organized project in Brooklyn with alums Simon O’Connor ’05 and Will Berman ’04, and O’Connor’s friend/ringtone factory coworker Will Roan (who went to Bard). Berman left to go on tour as MGMT’s drummer in 2008, and over the course of the year the group took shape as a quintet with Rob Laaxo on guitar, Matt Abeysekera on drums, and Don Devore on bass.
Fun facts about the Amazing Baby/MGMT relationship, from Rolling Stone:
O’Connor used to room with MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser at Wesleyan. “We’ve all slept with the same girls,” says Roan.
Here is the video for “Headdress”:
If you’re in New York or California, you’ll have a few chances to see them this summer – check the tour schedule.