After a 6 year wait following their well-received debut album 'Want It Need It', Glasgow's Punk trio Baby Strange have finally returned with their sophomore record 'World Below'.
After such a big gap it understandable that a lot has changed for the three members, both personally and in their musical careers. Label changes, major world events and inevitable personal growth have changed the way that the band approach all aspects of making an album and this 6 year period has allowed them time to mature and meditate on exactly how they want themselves to sound.
It certainly feels like they have reached this point as their new album is a cohesive onslaught that blends the very best distinctive elements that are definitively Baby Strange with a new, sharper and more electronically influenced edge that has incorporated clever hints of the new Post-Punk wave whilst still staying true to their roots.
We spoke with vocalist Johnny Madden to dig deeper into their new album and see what processes the band have gone through to get to where they are now.
How do you feel this new record differs from your debut in both its sound and lyrical content? "It’s really different in both aspects I feel. It’s been 6 years since our debut came out so we’ve changed a lot as people and got better as players too. With this record we wanted to constantly push ourselves, think outside the box and go for the options that made us feel most uncomfortable because it’s not what we were used to doing in the past. The sound has way more depth on this one too, but you need to remember we wrote the majority of the first record when we were teenagers. In terms of the lyrics, it’s pretty different. I wanted to open up about that and be more forthcoming on this record. We created this place ‘World Below’ as a form of escapism".
What have you learned since your debut record?
"We’ve come on a long way since our debut. We’re way more confident as players now, our vision is stronger and the songs we’re writing now are a cut above. I love our first album, it means a lot to me, but our new stuff is really exciting to me. I think that’s natural to be most excited about your most recent work though. Since releasing our first album we’ve learned: Don’t get too ahead of yourself, take everything as it comes and always go with your gut".
What kind of place, mentally, have these new tracks come from? "A lot of them came from a place of anxiety due to the pandemic. We started writing the album when everything shut down, it gave us a kick up the arse to get moving again as a band, we were worried what would happen if we just sat and did nothing. As much as the record does have a dark feel, it really was uplifting to create, it was like therapy almost. Getting everything out there, no hiding away".
How did you find the process of writing during the pandemic?
"The start of lockdown was weird, I was struggling to adjust but after a month or so I found myself writing more than I’ve ever written before. Not having anything to do all day made me open up my mind and think about things that trigger interesting songs".
Do you feel that this album is more personal and vulnerable lyrically? "Definitely. It’s the most vulnerable I’ve felt writing lyrics. We are living through a strange time, I’d rather things didn’t go unsaid".
What kind of moments is his album written for? "It has big choruses for sing alongs, songs to enjoy with loads of people around, as well as songs that are a slower pace that would be good to listen to at night time when you’re at one with yourself".
What’s your favourite track on the new album and why? "I feel so cold but it’s warm outside, it changes on the daily but I love this one right now. I think the music sums up the lyrical content perfectly, we wanted the verses to feel super claustrophobic and the choruses to be a release. We can’t wait for this one live!".
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