Words: James Frostick
Band image: Daniel Ward
Bedroom pop made with a punk attitude, the music of duo Baby Doll Eyes is a masterclass in scuffed-up energy and campy spunk. Yesterday the two-piece dropped a nine-track cassette full of bent and subversive jams via Dero Arcade and are keeping the release celebrations going with the visuals for standout track ‘Pizza Face Boy’, a punchy encapsulation of Baby Doll Eyes’ eclectic and electric approach to danceable discord.
This one is a whole lot of fun. Producer Louis Avolo (formerly Egypt Lies) and experimental-pop artist Wet Kiss have come together to form Baby Doll Eyes – a Naarm-based duo that have fashioned what they call an “assault of queer-baiting anthems” out of spare parts for their debut cassette release. Assault is an appropriate word to use in this instance – the duo revel in circumventing convention and using sounds pointedly, going for maximum attention-grabbing impact. A month or so ago the duo released lead single ‘Barking‘ (a dissonant-yet-hypnotically catchy introduction) and now they’re following up with ‘Pizza Face Boy’ – a tongue-in-cheek number about a loose infatuation with an oily faced delivery driver – which arrives today with a clip in tow.
Sonically, Baby Doll Eyes takes an intuitional and playful approach to its sound. The inspirational touchstones are there – think beat-to-shit punk scrappiness blended with elements of electro-pop and hyper-pop, just without the gloss. Drum-machine pulses reverberate around my skull and worms of wiry synth crawl under my skin, while the sprechgesang vocals of Wet Kiss seductively and scornfully tell a tale. Press material mentions that this assemblage of tunes is “swiftly produced”, which means Baby Doll Eyes has no qualms about divulging the expeditious nature of the cassette’s construction. That being said, I think the low fidelity, instinctual and, above all, carefree approach is a large part of the charm. Perhaps it’s simply a result of the gear that was on hand when the tracks were being assembled, but I reckon each mic pop and scrap of audible fuzz on ‘Pizza Face Boy’ adds to the track’s overall patina, making it feel worn in. Make no mistake, both members have a solid grasp on pop and song construction (just listen to their respective work outside of BDE) but here they’re throwing the rulebook in the trash. Though traces of their approach seem off-the-cuff, the collision of styles is purposeful and considered. Most importantly, they’re having fun with it, and so am I. Check out the entertaining clip for ‘Pizza Faced Boy’ (shot by Daniel Ward) below:
Grab a copy of Baby Doll Eye’s debut – available digitally or on red-glitter cassette (numbers are strictly limited) via Dero Arcade.