"Nonna" music video by Pascal Babare
In 2009, after a few years of meticulous home recording, young Australian songwriter and visual artist Pascal Babare gave us Thunderclap Spring (listen), his first lp. Released through London/Tokyo–based label Blackmaps, Thunderclap was a set of sublime, warm, rickety pop songs that belied its creator’s tender years, its thirteen songs, as Music OMH wrote, “a stunning debut from an exciting talent.”
Thunderclap, mostly recorded when Pascal was eighteen, garnered unanimous critical acclaim: BBC Music called it “an auspicious debut with the sense of a pull toward cult greatness”; The Line Of Best Fit “an inspired work that often borders on genius”; Clash Magazine “a wonderfully charming rainy-day record that is sumptuously rich as it is subtle and organic”. In late 2009, Pascal’s formidable cover of Joy Division’s ‘Ceremony’ became one of NME’s tracks of the week.
Between 2006 and 2009, Pascal travelled widely, taking up residence in Kyoto, Berlin and London, and touring Europe with Matt Nicholson’s Function Ensemble (now Outshine Family). Everywhere he went, more or less, he recorded, and Sorry, Morning, his sophomore lp, is the fruit of this labour—an album of fluid, unpredictable, percussive pop that reflects the many and varied inspirations Pascal found on his travels, while remaining completely of a piece. From the languidly beautiful ‘Insomnia’ to the bright, propulsive ‘Family Hands’, to the immediate, assured pop of ‘Heaven Clubs’, ‘House of Mirrors’ and ‘Santa’s Seasonal Showdown’, Sorry, Morning is a generous, accomplished record, a lush, enveloping listen built around economical, precise, uncommonly handsome songs.
Lyrically, Sorry, Morning is happily unorthodox, Pascal finding joy in oddity and levity in darkness, his songs and characters sweet and strange but never cloying or calculated. Sorry, Morning is home to a cast that includes sociopathic Santas, Victorian-era prostitutes, werewolves and various folk close to his heart; along the way, Pascal ponders what the impending apocalypse might look like, and if heaven might just be a suburban country club.
Like Thunderclap, Sorry, Morning is entirely self-produced. And, as with his first lp, Pascal plays almost every instrument on the album, and designed the artwork. Live, though, Pascal has some help—four friends that help transform his sophisticated bedroom pop into a formidable and compelling live act.
Sorry, Morning will be released internationally on the 28thth of August 2013 by blackmaps (available as a digital download and physical cd from blackmaps.org, iTunes, and Amazon).