“A sweet-zesty suspension of yearning and blame“
Guardian Guide Single of the Week
“It’s like a beefier Belle & Sebastian rubbing shoulders with mid-‘90s Blur”
“A record whose charms are irresistible”
“This is a quintessentially British record – think The Kinks and Gorkys. It’s a record to raise a smile and to shed a tear to”
“Charming and wryly humorous album”
‘Ships’, Sweet Baboo’s fourth record will be released through Moshi Moshi, and is a concept album about the sea and was recorded with long time collaborator The Voluntary Butler Scheme late last year.
A native of the North Wales countryside, Sweet Baboo aka Stephen Black is a single minded, idiosyncratic singer possessing an ear for sparkling melody and a gift for a deft lyrical turn – from darkly funny to piercingly tender, twinkling boastful to deliciously self-deprecating. Having worked with the likes of Gruff Rhys, Cate Le Bon and Islet, he has already been shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize in 2011 for his third album ‘I’m A Dancer/Songs About Sleeping’.
Influenced by the likes of The Beach Boys, Bill Callahan, Stereolab, Daniel Johnston and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Black indulges his love of brass heavy pop on the new album.
The album opens with ‘If I Died’, a re-worked version of the last track of Sweet Baboo’s third album – Black’s subtle reference to Weezer. From the propulsive melodies of ‘The Morse Code For Love’ to the bubbling psychedelics on album closer ‘Cate’s Song’ – an ode to the joys of friendship – ‘Ships’ shows Black’s evolution as a songwriter and musician is still very much in motion. The new record is a marked step up from his earlier material and reveals that his true talent is only beginning to be revealed.