A first listen through Amazing Baby’s ‘Pump Yr Brakes’ immediately conjures comparisons to another Brooklyn buzz band, MGMT.
The track begins with a sparkly, electronic bleep-filled intro, before launching into a marching beat bass line and cascading guitars... And the MGMT reference shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Amazing Baby’s vocalist Will Roan and guitarist Simon O’Connor attended Wesleyan University with the MGMT boys and opened for them on a UK tour in late 2008.
O’Connor is quick to give MGMT credit for a resurgence of quality music coming from the Brooklyn area, but not for his own personal success. After forming Amazing Baby in January 2008, the duo quickly began receiving attention on their own for their debut EP, ‘Infinite Fucking Cross’, available for free on the Amazing Baby website.
The psychedelic, reverberated music is lush and complicated - at their first show they had nine musicians on stage to recreate the album versions. “It was cool, but could easily have sounded like shit,” O’Connor says.
Now, the band opts to play a stripped-down version of the records with only five musicians - mostly friends from during the days when the boys had day jobs.
“We all worked at a ringtone company. We were sitting around making ringtones for Indiana Jones theme songs, but we really wanted to record. Once we were pretty sure we wouldn’t starve to death if we quit our day jobs, we did,” O’Connor says. “Quitting my job ruled. I took my boss aside and said, ‘I’m going to be a professional musician now, you’ll see.’ It was great. Yo, check this out: I’m at work right now, and I’m in my underpants, smoking a cigarette and cooking food. That’s great.”
O’Connor should enjoy the time he has now, because if the EP is any indication of Amazing Baby’s promise, 2009 could be big. Roan and O’Connor are busy recording songs right now, and plan to have the album out in June. “2008 was like building our boxcar,” O’Connor says, “and in 2009, we’re going to race it.”
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Amazing Baby – ‘Pump Yr Brakes’
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See Amazing Baby (MySpace) live in the UK as follows…
12 Bristol Anson Rooms
13 London Shepherd’s Bush Empire