In 2008, Kevin Morby moved into Cassie Ramone’s small apartment in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, for a few months. Morby, who plays bass in Woods, and Ramone, who sings and plays guitar in Vivian Girls, wanted to start a band. They both missed the sweaty loft shows they used to play before their bands moved on to larger venues and longer tours. Justin Sullivan, who had played with Ramone in Bossy, began practicing with them on drums, and The Babies debuted as a three-piece in March 2009 at Dead Herring, their friends’ loft in Brooklyn. They played a few times before asking Nathan Stark, formerly of Bent Outta Shape, to join on bass, and the full lineup’s first shows were that summer. The Babies wrote music and played shows in fits and spurts, whenever they all happened to be in town for a week. They recorded their self-titled debut album with Jarvis Taveniere at Rear House Studios, which doubles as Morby’s home; his vocals were done in his own bedroom. (Taveniere, Morby’s bandmate in Woods, has also recorded Real Estate, Vivian Girls and Woods.) The debut follows 7-inch singles on Make a Mess and Wild World. The Babies’ songs are roughed-up jewels cut from the same cloth as Hazlewood and Sinatra, The Velvet Underground and Nico, Pisces and Linda Bruner, and other dream marriages. The band will tour the West Coast again in January, to where they’re temporarily relocating for the winter to write their second record before going to Europe in the spring of 2011.
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