Posted on May 22nd, 2024

Today, the Chicago-based project Babe Report shared their third and final single off their debut album Did You Get Better out on May 31 through Exploding In Sound. The album's weighty centerpiece is defined by its soaring guitar lead and muffled, murky vocals. What might have begun as an experiment in crafting a Yo La Tengo-esque song quickly comes into its own, marked by a frenetic tempo shift that is more indicative of the album's fervent nature, never allowing the listener to rest on their laurels.

On the song, member Ben Grigg adds: "There’s no grand theme behind the words here, they just always felt right. Like, these were the right sounds to make. The song to me is a vehicle for that soaring guitar lead line, which gets reprised after the tempo change."

"Allergy 2000" arrives with a music video directed by the band and follows up previously released singles "Turtle of Reaper" and "Universal," which earned the project notable support from Bandcamp, Billboard, BrooklynVegan, CREEM, FLOOD, Small Albums, Various Small Flames, and many others.

Where the band initially existed as a lockdown-inspired duo, Babe Report became a fully-fledged four-piece on the aforementioned The Future of Teeth EP, with Ben Grigg (Whelpwisher, FCKR JR, Geronimo!) and Emily Bernstein (FCKR JR) expanding their line-up to include Peter Reale (Yeesh) on drums and Mech on bass. Such reinforcements grow exponentially here, and they come to define Did You Get Better. Both a bigger and more accomplished version of the band than we’ve heard to date, the album boasts a woozy concoction of 90s-drenched guitars and melodic grooves.

Recorded over just one weekend in November 2023, using several one-of-a-kind prototype mics at Radon Ranch - Ben and Emily’s humble basement studio - the songs here are both gripping in their immediacy and wholly intoxicating. Embracing disorder throughout, Babe Report funnel their influences into something both boisterous and exuberant; a thunderstorm trapped inside a bottle.

A tumultuous tale, the album is part snapshot of the band’s singular and curious perspectives but also of their surroundings in Jefferson Park, an area that is rife with inspiration. “We practice on Wednesdays when the hyper-local Nadig Newspaper is delivered. We invariably spend the first few minutes of practice reviewing the weekly, idiotic antics of our Alderman,” the band says, while also citing “women driving cars with manual transmissions, the cult of fame and personality, and dreams of throwing your severed body parts into the ocean” as part of the album’s idiosyncratic nature.

However it finds you or you find it, Did You Get Better finds a way to take the reigns, plowing headfirst into its journey and rarely looking back for approval, to even worry if anyone else is joining for the ride. Through its intense rushing and the occasional moments of cessation, it showcases a band in a bold and brilliant new chapter, highlighting the power of growth and collaboration in a way that feels considerably and endearingly forthright.

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