Babehoven discuss the inspirations behind debut album ‘Light Moving Time’
Babehoven,the Hudson, NY duo led by singer-songwriter Maya Bon, have just released their debut album, Light Moving Time, via Double Double Whammy. WIth bandmate and producer Ryan Albert, they've crafted a record that digs into heavy themes and emotion via a mix of folk, country, shoegaze and slowcore. It's a gorgeous, rewarding album and you can listen to it below.
We asked Maya Bon to tell us a little more about where they were coming from when making the album, and she sent us a list of influences that includes music, environmental factors, wellness and more. Read the list and commentary below.
Babehoven will be on tour with Skullcrusher in just a couple weeks but have a few headline shows before that, including Brooklyn's Union Pool on November 5. All dates are listed below.
BABEHOVEN's MAYA BON - INSPIRATIONS BEHIND 'LIGHT MOVING TIME'
Courtney Marie Andrews
“I’m On Your Team” was inspired by Courtney Marie Andrews’ song “May Your Kindness Remain,” which is a masterfully written homage to a person with a beautiful heart who has struggled in their life. I wanted to write a song holding a similar weight but less specifically about one person, more about the human condition at large; encapsulating a feeling of love for humanity, for home, for support networks. I am a big Courtney Marie Andrews fan. Her voice and songwriting really move me. I also tried to sing like her on this song, with the high lilts of the chorus and the country inspired flourishes. Her voice is just next level good. I saw her perform during quarantine in someone’s backyard while I was living in Vermont and I simply could not stop crying. She sends me places.
From a production stance on “I’m On Your Team”, we were inspired by the strange and melodramatic 1989 Roy Orbison song “You May Feel Me Crying.” We wanted to make a somewhat ridiculous 80’s anthemic song and felt that “I’m On Your Team” was just the right match. Roy Orbison is another singer who rocks my world. Known as the “Big O,” Orbison could hit notes and sustain them with the grace and tenderness of a feather. His song “Belinda,” for example, showcases some of his out-of-this-world vocal work. Ryan and I are particularly fond of his music from the late eighties because the way it’s produced and mixed is quite strange sounding. We find some of these explorative risks inspiring and wanted to bring some of that energy into “Light Moving Time.”
Reflecting on the importance of the mundane
Sometimes life reveals powerful nuggets of meaning in the folds of its quotidian wrinkles. To me, this album is a nugget uncovered in a moment’s fold. Recorded in three months during the crunchy silence of Upstate winter, Light Moving Time marks a season’s breath in the Babehoven processing wheel that I feel swallowed by and reflected out of. Kaleidoscopically unveiling the emotional depth of everyday experiences, these songs reveal insights and reflections only to be twisted away again into the glitter of mundanity, shifting and falling afield as quickly as they came.
I’m interested in songwriting as a form of self-actualization and self-reflection. Sometimes I write songs as a form of meditation, sometimes I write songs to propel myself in a certain direction, sometimes I write songs to vent. Mostly I write about deep feelings that I want to create space for myself to vocalize. Over the past few years, I have learned how to live my life in a way that feels sustainable. I have moved through some of the biggest, most painful challenges I’ve had to face and have come out the other side feeling more grounded than ever. I feel safer in my body than I’ve ever felt and feel that, for the most part, I have a handle on how to find happiness in my day to day life. These points of growth are present in my music. I’ve also felt a deep commitment to my music practice that has propelled the work to a new and exciting level. My collaborative relationship with Ryan has grown a lot over the past few years, as I’ve learned to let go and allow him to explore the songs in all their potential without needing to hover or be overly concerned with each move. Ryan’s production elevates these songs to their fullest potential, in my opinion, and I love getting to grow with him.
Loss plays a big role in my songwriting. Much of my life has been shaped by loss. I hold this struggle close to my heart but allow it to fly free in my music. For the ability to release pain through song, I am endlessly grateful.
Ryan and I both feel inspired to focus on music during the long and cold winters of Upstate New York. We find winter to be the perfect time to turn inward. On a cold, snowy day, we’ll drink tea, bake a cake, and record all day long (with a break to go on a hike with our dog Woody). It is a special time for us and I’ve actually grown to look forward to winter, which initially surprised me, as I’m originally from LA and used to exclusively like to be hot and sweaty all the time.
The theme of family plays a primary role in much of my music and Light Moving Time is no exception. I often turn to music to hold love throughout the dysfunction, throughout the chaos, and to find ways to connect when possible.
Light and Time
“June Phoenix” is about the oxymoron of becoming a “phoenix this time”... the lore of the phoenix is that it always rebirths itself from its ashes; as soon as it dies, it is born anew through the flames, consistently and reliably. In this song, I express a desire for a lost loved one to reappear on their birthday each June, wondering if they might become a phoenix this time. It is about questioning my reality, holding my hands out in the darkness and wondering if I am real, if my disappearance into the darkness is indication that this has all been a dream. In this song, I sing: “when the years could mean everything, light moving time, I don’t know how to grow up and start wasting mine…” Sometimes, with great pain, life is synthesized into its purest forms of meanings, and in this instance it seemed to me that all we have is light. Light defines our reality, it shapes our perceptions, it is what drives the illusion of time and, therefore, the experience of life. From this lyric, I chose the album title “Light Moving Time” as, to me, it is the broadest, most intuitive truth I have found through my songwriting.
Babehoven Tour Dates
Sat. Oct. 29 - Allston, MA @ Tourist Trap
Sat. Nov. 5 - Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
Fri. Nov. 11 - Washington, DC @ DC9 *
Sat. Nov. 12 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s *
Tue. Nov. 15 - Burlington, VT @ Radio Bean
Wed. Nov. 16 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
Thu. Nov. 17 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison *
Fri. Nov. 18 - Windsor, ON @ Phog Lounge
Sat. Nov. 19 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop *
Sun. Nov. 20 - Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village *
Wed. Nov. 30 - San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord *
Fri. Dec. 2 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza *
Sat. Dec. 3 - Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall *
Mon. Dec. 5 - Sacramento, CA @ Starlet Room
Tue. Dec. 6 - San Diego, CA @ 61st St House
Thu. Dec. 8 - Phoenix, AZ @ Linger Longer Lounge
Sat. Dec. 10 - Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
^w/ Mikaela Davis