Babehoven and adjacent folk artists graced the stage at Union Pool Saturday to celebrate the release of the band’s newest LP, Light Moving Time. The album is a sweet opera of the heart, offering songs of healing in a time of great loss and change for us all. This LP would move anyone from start to finish with its reflective lyrics, intentional melodies, and intensely genuine performance by Maya Bon and partner Ryan Albert.
I first heard Babehoven back in August at a Horse Jumper of Love show (see our coverage). I was taken by their song “Often” during their set and it eventually led me to their new LP. So of course I was excited to see them play pieces from the record live.
The night openned with a set by Dan English Band, a large group of artists playing keys, percussion, and all kinds of strings.The dynamic of their sound is one I almost couldn’t put my finger on; it was folk yet virtually genre-less like all the best music is. Their sound was layered with warmth, class, and a sprinkle of emotionally-mature angst. Beautiful and well-executed to say the least.
Karl Blau played next with a much simpler lineup of three. Their music was comfortable, kind of like that feeling you get while cozying up with nostalgic fall sitcoms at night. It reminded me of 90s music that held so much space for sleepy drives home as a kid. In short, Blau and his band were a lovely choice for this evening of folk clearly revered by the headlining band.
Last was the band we’d all come to celebrate, the incredibly talented Babehoven. Their performance was nothing short of incredible and emotionally rich. Bon was beaming with gratitude from the front of the stage and everyone in the room could feel it. And not just her joy and thankfulness, but the passion she has for every word she writes and sings. It’s almost like each song is performed for the first time, even if it’s the hundredth. You could sense how much the performance meant to everyone in the band, too. Bon, Albert, and their bassist and drummer, that is.
They played a handful of songs off the new LP including some of my favorites like “Break the Ice,” “June Phoenix,” and “I’m on Your Team.” I’d heard “I’m on Your Team” several times before but the live presentation was so much more powerful—something that can only be felt in the amplified presence of fellow fans maybe. Or while laying down with their vinyl record turning.
If you haven’t yet, I’d highly recommend listening to Light Moving Time and checking out Babehoven live when you can. Their music is cathartic in a way that is both striking and supportive of the listener’s healing process.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Juliette Boulay)
DAN ENGLISH BAND