Goth Babe
Lola


3.0
good

Review

by Dakota West Foss STAFF
January 26th, 2024 | 4 replies


Release Date: 01/26/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Goth Babe aren't the most original band in the world, but they keep the good times promised by the indiepop of yesteryear rolling as advertised.

I have little respect for content that seeks to point out that Thing A is Now X years old and punctuating that fact with an elbow nudge of “Ya feel old yet!?” with the aplomb of a 90’s cartoon mascot. Maybe someone smarter than me can argue otherwise, but time moves in a linear fashion so of course something that was released at a fixed point in time will continue to age. It’s been known to happen, at least maybe a dozen times. All that to say, it’s with zero joy and pride that I present the fact that the current state of nostalgia is currently spinning its wheels toward the first Obama administration after seemingly forever being landlocked in the 80’s and 90’s. With that sort of nebulous declaration, Gen Z is beginning to soulmine an era that they barely had a hand in to signal to their appropriately-aged compatriots that they were, like, totally born in the wrong generation after seeing low-resolution pics from digital cameras and screenshots of the original Modern Warfare 2. As someone who live through that period of everyone posting Facebook statuses saying “First Name Last Name is [doing activity]”, I wish I could impart the sheer amount of pain -and, yes, cringe- that came with the culture at large batting down the hatches and realizing that this whole internet thing might just actually be here to stay. Some growing pains simply need to be lived through to be fully understood. Maybe there will be 70 year olds in the distant future, gathering their spawn around the fire to show off their GRWM videos as if it were a family scrapbook.

Every retrospective needs its soundtrack and this one's composer may just be Griff Washburn aka Goth Babe. Goth Babe have slowly been climbing the ranks of modern hippie festival fodder and it’s fairly easy to see why: thumbing through their catalog of singles and EPs yields trace amounts of early-MGMT, Empire of the Sun, and Washed Out that really captured the characterized the rise of music blogs; large, towering choruses that somehow stand at the intersection of effortlessly cool, yet hopelessly devoted. Debut album Lola doesn’t really rock the boat that it is named after in that regard, although it injects the requisite myth-making building blocks that are needed for head-nodders to loudly yell over a live set to their friends they are introducing Goth Babe to. “He’s a nomad! This album is about living in his boat and sailing down the pacific coast!” Facts that are no doubt cool, but also kind of bring to mind the regrettable fascination the culture had with Into the Wild.

While much of Goth Babe’s sound is swimming in gestures to the past, there are moments that do legitimately stock the arsenal that is uniquely his own. “Bioluminescence” is an ethereal anthem that truly shines from within, with gorgeous aquatic and celestial imagery that will adorn many a stoned-man’s shuffle. If nothing else, that’s the track to hang your hat on, but the album excels elsewhere when it leans to that suggestive, impressionistic space. “Insides” is another such track that sounds endless and inviting. “Backwards” kind of sounds like if Bon Iver was hellbent on a festival hit, with a shockingly potent outro that pulls just about every cheap trick to be affecting, but it works. It’s extremely easy to see Main Character tik toks popping up with “Alone in the Mountains” soundtracking the idea that it’s really dope to be, well, alone in the mountains. Again, there may be some unkind Into the Wild connections to be made if you wanted to go down that road.

But I don’t really want to. In fact, I don’t really want to criticize Lola at all. Let’s call a spade a spade here, Goth Babe are sailing on some very well-trodden waters here that seeks to keep the good times rolling rather than chart a new course. It’s a shallow album released during the wrong time of year and whose opposing sides of discourse will likely be “I haven’t heard of them” and “it sounds nice” -but is that so bad? Because the story iscool and the vibes are good, and sometimes that’s just kinda neat.



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user ratings (10)
2.9
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
January 26th 2024


17332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was planning on bumping this tonight aww..

Odal
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2024


1966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's still worth a listen, it's just not gonna knock your socks off

Calc
January 30th 2024


17332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok I'm vibing with this. reminds me of tog pebbles and a little of In Love With a Ghost, especially Baja.

Odal
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2024


1966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Glad it's connected with you a little more than me.



I really hope the next thing he releases aims a little higher because I really do like the bones



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