‘Girl Under A Tree’ is the latest release from Stephen Black, a.k.a Sweet Baboo. Hailing from the North Wales countryside, Black has created a lo-fi, mesmerising piece of work that surrounds the little quirks of love and relationships.
Title track ‘Girl Under A Tree’ beautifully glimmers into a sublime guitar picking ode to an undivided love. Layers upon layers of sweet emotion echoes through his heart-pounding raspy vocals, almost like he is singing this song of romance with his very last breath.
‘The Day I Lost My Voice’ is like a mild ho-down, with its slight stomp of the boot and marching snare. Whispers of M. Ward and Daniel Johnston also peep through lines such as “This may be the greatest day for me”. Honest and humbling with the listener letting out a big sigh in the process. On ‘Great Year’, Sweet Baboo reminisces about what sounds like certainly some of the most amazing 12 months of anyone’s life. Beach Boys-esque harmonies creep forward into the fray, adding that to pounding drums and the result is a crescendo of a dark psych-pop refrain of “You were away with me” on hypnotic repeat.
‘MB’ and ‘LB’ are two interim little ditties that piece the whole of the EP together. ‘MB’ being the lighter, much sunnier of the two. ‘LB’ ploughs through after ‘Great Year’ and its a haunting stark contrast from the songs that preceded it. ‘Bounce’ is just a lovely 3 minutes of serene Americana about the conquering of love-loss and “bouncing” back to do it all over again. Melodically doing exactly what the title suggests, it feels the heart with warmth and hope.
Sweet Baboo has almost created his own wall of sound on ‘Girl Under A Tree’. Echoes of lo-fi subtlety while at the same time he attempts to throw everything at it. It fills the air with celestial tones as it gets you from every possible angle. Intensifying in places and all the while retaining a beauty that we can all comprehend, a triumph to say the least.
The video for ‘The Day I Lost My Voice…’