Babehoven is the nomadic project of Topanga, CA-raised Maya Bon. She announces her Nastavi, Calliope EP, out July 9th, and presents its lead single, “Bad Week.” Nastavi, Calliope is the follow-up to Demonstrating Visible Difference of Height (2020) and Yellow Has a Pretty Good Reputation (2021). Nastavi, Calliope was built after a cascade of losses, and is a vessel into which Bon poured two years of heartache, humor, and rage, then growth. It’s largely motivated by reconnecting with her father in Croatia after being apart for 16 years, immersing herself in her ancestral culture, and the passing of the beloved family dog, Calliope. Throughout the EP, Bon untangles universal emotions through specific experiences, poignant writing, and a lacquered DIY aesthetic.
In the EP’s stunning opener “Bad Week,” Bon’s vocals reach out from beyond like a late night phone call from a friend. “It’s been a bad week for so many weeks now,” she sings, her voice glowing over strums of guitar and shuffling percussion. “This song is a hand reached inward to the swelling and amorphous cavities of grief,” says Bon. “As time keeps moving forward, I have found that it can feel as if the ‘bad days’ keep going, growing into ‘bad weeks,’ ‘bad years,’ into new levels of struggle that are hard to move through. Though this realization can feel staggering, it can also feel like an honest admission to self: these times are very hard and yet I want to move forward, I want to feel, I want to grow. ‘Bad Week’ is my attempt to commit to myself in these feelings.”
Bachelor—the collaborative project of Jay Som’s Melina Duterte and Palehound’s Ellen Kempner—will release its debut album Doomin’ Sun on May 28th via Polyvinyl Record Co., and today the duo share another single off of the record. Of the country-inflected “Sick of Spiraling” the band says “Sick of Spiraling is one of the last songs we wrote and recorded together in Topanga. Both of us initially tried to play drums on the song but the groove wasn’t right so we enlisted help from James Krivchenia. He came over for a day and drummed on a few songs on the record, he really brought this song to life with his unique style. Ellen had the riff in her voice memos for a while, and had originally imagined it as a slow kinda melancholic song. Once we got together and listened back to the riff we heard it a whole new way as an upbeat driving song. After that Ellen wrote lyrics inspired by driving on tour and the rush and anxiety of being completely untethered and unprotected on the open road.”
Written and recorded in Topanga, CA over the course of two weeks in January of 2020, pre-pandemic, Doomin’ Sun is a record steeped in friendship. Kempner and Duterte hybridized their individual songwriting talents, producing a collection that slips between moods with ease and showcases their lyrical prowess. While the album features collaborations with the likes of Big Thief’s Buck Meek and James Krivchenia, as well as Duterte’s partner and Routine-counterpart Annie Truscott of Chastity Belt, the record was largely made by the two musicians in isolation as a fitting precursor to the forthcoming year. Creating the space to explore significant themes from queerness to climate change, the collection also finds Bachelor experiencing pure, unadulterated joy: the kind of joy that can only come from creating, laughing, and having a ridiculous amount of fun with a close friend.
Bachelor will be touring this summer opening for Lucy Dacus.