Jack Carson gives ENRG Culture the rundown on the new debut Solo-LP by Baby Cool
What happens when you take the infectious lounge pop of the early 90s The Cardigans and have it collide with the psychedelic tones of The Dark Side of the Moon?
You get Baby Cool’s Debut Solo LP, Earthling on the Road to Self-Love.
Baby Cool is the persona of Grace Cuell, who brings her psychedelic swagger from her Australian Psych-Rock Band ‘Nice Biscuit’ onto this solo project and delivers prismatic psychedelia in her voice with some incredible country and planetary undertones. Cuell spends her time on this LP spinning cosmic lullabies that echo her inner worlds.
Earthling on the Road to Self-Love has dropped right in the middle of a miniature renaissance for Psychedelia as a sub-genre, with Lil Yachty’s psych-rock album ‘Let’s Start Here’ dropping earlier this year and debuting as a top 10 album on the Billboard album charts and performers such as Saddle Creeks’ Indigo De Souza’s single ‘Younger and Dumber’ being featured as Pitchfork’s Best New Track. As well as the ongoing successes of Baby Cool’s fellow Australians, Tame Impala, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Pond.
‘Earthling on the Road to Self-Love’ doesn’t wait to establish its sounds and themes. ‘The Sea’ is the album opener, and the tone setter.
“Hypnotized by the sea/Moved by the tides back to me.”
This is the first time of many that Baby Cool acknowledges how our planet shapes us. Something that she explores and continues to grapple with throughout the whole nine tracks of the LP.
However, ‘Earthling on the Road to Self-Love’ orbits around one track, and that is ‘Country Song’. A country song is a much-needed sound change on the record and, frankly, an album highlight. Baby Cool leaves the cosmos and gives us some country reminiscent of Kacey Musgraves that could play in any saloon in the West. Although she doesn’t abandon the sonic cohesiveness of the album as it is as delicate and understated as ever. This one moment Baby Cool’s feet are firmly on the ground is when she is at her most vulnerable and honest.
As ethereal and celestial as the instrumentation and Baby Cool’s performances are, the tracks don’t get lost in the stars; the songs are deeply personal, tackling universal themes of self-identity and the pains of change.
She has challenged us with this album. She confronts the changing tides of our planet and how that changes us. The buildings, the trees, and the seas around us change us. The people in our lives more significantly so. And as the universe doesn’t stop changing, people don’t stop changing. Land, body, sea, and soul are in constant flux, so we are bound to reflect that in ourselves. Life will change us all unexpectedly, as terrifying as that prospect can be. That’s why it is worth living, and with this project, Baby Cool reassures us that it’ll all be okay, and it’ll always be okay no matter what and how we change.
Earthling on the Road to Self-Love is an album that demands you to give yourself to it and asks you to indulge in whatever your vice may be. Sit back and let Baby Cool sweep you to another galaxy far away.