It’s been a fair wait for West London’s Babeheaven to release their debut. Now that that day has finally arrived, where they’ve settled - all the way from the 2016 release of “Friday Sky” - is at an accomplished, gentle amalgamation of everything they’ve been up to in the form of Home For Now.
Piecing together the trail of the here-and-there singles they've been dropping over the years, Home For Now starts as it means to go on. Dripping sounds fall neatly into place, evoking the same reflection as that of those late-night feelings from a wander through a deserted city street; lights blinking all around, a promise of life inside the empty shell of buildings, while shadows move glacially, and for just one sweet moment, the world is no longer accelerating away at its breakneck pace.
Expertly crafted, Home For Now appears before you with its featherweight layers stacking neatly, jaunting at angles to create a shattered widescreen picture of personal and intimate realisations and catharsis. The melding of beats, instrumentation and vocals congeal to form a silky smooth palate of R&B, old school hip-hop beats, and the tang of straight-up restrained pop rich in life and vulnerability.
Each of its songs plays out with the protagonist left to being either vocalist Nancy Andersen or for the shoes to be filled with personal retrospection. Beyond this the sonic spaces are completed with swelling, intricate thoughts and real-world sounds (you’ll check your windows are shut more than once) as the echoes of life in this imagined landscape play out - a coalescing of natural and urban hymns colliding surreptitiously.
Andersen often glides from ethereal breathless to a subtle breakout of yearning (“In My Arms”), but throughout keeps a measured temper that never follows the emotional surge of the words. It’s Jamie Travis (instruments and production) who delivers the key edge that encourages the response. The gentle crackle of retro ‘90s beats, or shimmering guitars that threaten to completely disappear into the unknown, even when cracking into a solo that seems weird to spotlight on an album rich in R&B tones but fits the bill perfectly.
Home For Now accepts the fast pace of the world outside your front door or twelfth story window. It accepts that for all their foibles, other humans are a necessary part of the journey, no matter how they may treat you or how much they’ll love you. It embraces these ideas with a minimalist stance, and most of all it accepts life for what it is, vignettes to be lived, loved and treasured.