I think my both coolest and cutest musical revelation of 2021 is that prom-ready indie poppers Babygirl, who cite Blink 182 and John Mayer as some of their biggest influences, are also fans of batshit bizarre industrial icons Skinny Puppy (More on that in a bit.) While the sounds of ohGr and cEvin Key could soundtrack the formative years of the most mysterious and disconcerting student at your high school, the sounds of Babygirl are fit for just about anyone even remotely fitting a John Hughes archetype. For half a decade now, Kiki Frances and Cam Breithaupt have been churning out a mature brand of guitar pop, as [only-barely] elders who still revel in all the trials and tribulations of teendom as if they’re the stars of an aughts MTV reality show. The band has received praise from the likes of NPR, Noisey, and NYLON and has already released a bevvy of singles this year, including three tracks from their Losers Weepers EP and, most recently “Born With A Broken Heart,” an Americana ballad just as delectably gut-wrenching as its title would imply. Babygirl are currently on the road, supporting Jeremy Zucker, whose tour will be hitting up Theatre of Living Arts this Sunday, November 21st. Kiki and Cam recently took some time to have a quick chat with me between dates about their own music and some of their favorite music.
Izzy Cihak: Your Losers Weepers EP dropped earlier this year. Have you had any favorite reactions to it?
Kiki Frances: A few of my favorite Babygirl songs ever are on that EP. I’ve loved seeing reactions to the music videos and seeing the titles of the playlists that people are putting the songs into.
Cam Breithaupt: My favorite reaction to the EP is seeing people know all the words at shows. Magic feeling.
Izzy: You’ve been on the road for a little while now with Jeremy Zucker. How have the live shows been going so far? Any particular highlights?
Kiki: Performing our new song, “Born With a Broken Heart,” has been really rewarding for us, this tour is our first time playing it live. At some shows people are doing the flashlight phone waving thing which is so pretty to see from the stage.
Cam: One of the highlights for me has definitely been the experience of meeting fans after the show. Some folks coming up as new converts that night, and some people who’ve been listening for years. All equally enthusiastic and inspiring to speak to. After years off of doing shows, it means so much to see that the music we’re making is actually reaching tangible humans in the real world.
Izzy: You’re going to be playing Theatre of Living Arts this coming Sunday. What can be expected of your live show? Anything you’d tell Jeremy’s fans to get them to come out a little early?
Kiki: The first opener, Valley Boy, is awesome, and we aren’t half bad either. It’s a really great show altogether.
Cam: I’d tell Jeremy’s fans that we added a Taylor Swift cover. So, if not for us… do it for her.
Izzy: This is a really big question, but considering that Babygirl is still a relatively new band, what have been some of the highlights of the group for you, so far?
Cam: At our very first show a few years ago, a bunch of our friends came out and knew all the words to our song “Overbored.” It was our first live singalong moment, and it felt like our music had gone from being a bedroom thing to a real-world thing. That was an early validating experience that kept me excited to take it this far. This tour is definitely a life-changing highlight.
Izzy: Is there anything that you think is important for fans to know about you?
Kiki: I think most of what you need to know about us is in the music. Sometimes the lyric is an exaggerated personality trait, sometimes it’s a character, sometimes it’s directly personal. We put a lot of care into what we do and we’re so happy that people are making this music a part of their lives.
Izzy: Since we’re nearing the year’s end, I’m curious what has been some of your favorite music of the year?
Kiki: I probably speak for both of us when I say “Leave the Door Open” by Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak is a definite highlight. I think “I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God” by Halsey is dope. I’m a big Doja Cat fan so I was stoked to get a new album from her this year.
Cam: For me, that beabadoobee song “He Gets Me So High” has been in heavy rotation. It has a certain something in it that I can’t get enough of. That Baby Keem album is amazing. It’s getting lots of play in the tour van.
Izzy: So, this is really specific, but I saw that you follow ohGr from Skinny Puppy on Twitter, which is super surprising to me, although I grew up super into industrial, so I’m a big fan as well. How did you get into his stuff, and do you have any other tastes that you think may surprise your fans?
Cam: I’ve been listening to Skinny Puppy since I was like 12 or so. My brother introduced me to their music, and eventually to ohGr’s solo stuff. I was just learning to produce at the time, and I remember one of my early forays into hip-hop being a beat built around a sample of “kettlE.” We saw Skinny Puppy at Kool Haus in Toronto around that time, and it blew my tiny little head open. Such a sense of theatrics to the performance, and way more sonically aggressive than any other show I’d seen before then. Fun fact: Dave Ogilvie mixed Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” which is a super weird confluence of my interests in industrial music, top 40, and Canadiana.
Izzy: Finally, what are you currently hoping and planning for the first part of 2022? Is there anything you’re especially excited about or that fans can look forward to?
Kiki: New music will be out early next year, and we’re planning on touring more too.
Cam: I’m especially excited about locking in to record our debut LP.
*Get your tickets here.