NEWS : WED, MAY 3, 2023 at 7:00 AM
waterbaby Shares “911”
Following the well-received single and official video for “Airforce blue,” Stockholm-based artist waterbaby is announcing the release of the Foam EP, out June 14th on all DSPs worldwide from Sub Pop.
Foam’s five tracks were written by waterbaby and Marcus White, executive produced and mixed by White, and mastered by Johan Åkerström at Cosmos Mastering, all in Stockholm, Sweden.
Foam’s new single “911” – with the whee-oo whee-oos – moves with a doleful indulgence. “Call me when you need someone / I could be your 911,” she sings, like a lovelorn operator on the other end of the line. She gets it: loneliness and love aren’t mutually exclusive ideas– they’re sometimes part of the same thrust of feeling.
The “911” single is accompanied by a visualizer edited by Erik Pousette, with skateboarding footage from Love Ohling and Sean Christensen, here.
waterbaby’s “Airforce blue,” and its charming, firework-laden video, which introduced her hypnotic and evocative approach to music, led to coverage internationally from the likes of The FADER, The Guardian, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, and CLASH, and radio support in the UK from BBC6 Music and Sweden’s P3.
More on waterbaby:
Artists have always had a knack for understanding the strange psychological sorcery that comes with crushing on someone. Stockholm-based artist waterbaby - intimately knows the tiny nuances between love – which is to say, the bond between two people – and the one-sided, up-and-down feelings of infatuation: the plaintive longing, the shifty wanting and the not-wanting, and all the luxuriously intrusive thoughts that come with them. If you’re at all familiar with the patterns of this (il)logic, you’ll find a welcome home in the world of waterbaby’s rhapsodic, technopastoral crush songs.
With the Foam EP, her Sub Pop debut, waterbaby’s auto-tunelets work like this: there’s the confessional of sisterly, guitar-assisted warmth infused with humane, sticky lyrics that surface in your head like bubbles floating to the top of an aquarium. Along with producer and collaborator Marcus White, waterbaby creates a mystic sort of blend – the songs feel spell-like, but they honor the feelings of what it’s like to love, or at least to want to feel loved.
The chief love in waterbaby’s life has always been music, of course. It’s infused in her blood: her great-grandad was a jazz pianist; her uncle worked in clubs and arranged concerts, and that Stockholmian syndrome of preternaturally knowing how to craft the perfect song – it’s a part of her that’s palpable in everything she writes or touches.
It could be because she’s got a choir-school upbringing that’s done something to her voice – made it familiar with Pythagorean melodies and spare, delicate ideas that sound simple at first but really get into the spiritual in their own way. “My parents hated the music I listened to,” she laughs, talking about her private love of the megastars of R&B that she’d sainted as paragons of sounds and feelings that accessed the full range of emotions that she was getting familiar with.
On Foam, those emotions range from sad to empathetic, from hopeful to cocky, from doleful to ecstatic. “Airforce blue,” with its tones as liquidly bright as a fish whipping through the ocean, gives form to the feel of the latter sort of pain. “I still miss you” goes the chorus over and over again, if that’s any help. Crushes and longing seem to map her life over with meaning and joy.
“911” – with the whee-oo whee-oos – moves with an even more doleful indulgence. “Call me when you need someone / I could be your 911,” she sings, like a lovelorn operator on the other end of the line.
On the glistening “Wishing well,” swirling vocal effects, and lyrics of unrequited love – “Yeah, we tried to feel it all, wanted to see it all / Wanted to be it all / So why don’t you need my love? / I-want-you-to-need-my-love” – ride waves of piano arpeggios that swell and break and crash into themselves.
With Foam, waterbaby gets it: loneliness and love aren’t mutually exclusive ideas– they’re sometimes part of the same thrust of feeling. Believing in that idea seems to be her governing motive. Because like faith, like a crush, her music is a quick and deep way of reaching beyond yourself.
Foam, featuring the singles “911,” “Airforce blue,” and “Wishing well,” was written by waterbaby and Marcus White, executive produced and mixed by White, and mastered by Johan Åkerström at Cosmos Mastering, all in Stockholm, Sweden.
What people are saying about waterbaby:
“‘Airforce blue,’ waterbaby’s first single for Sub Pop, wouldn’t sound out of place on SZA’s genre-jumping S.O.S., but like many SZA songs it doesn’t really scan as R&B. It’s like a more lo-fi, chillwavey cousin to Post Malone’s soft-rocking ‘Circles,’ as if filtered through Clairo’s bedroom indie-pop, with a trace of hyperpop in her Auto-Tuned voice. The result is something slightly uncanny yet tender and personal. Good song.” - Stereogum
“Bedroom pop at a cosmic scale: documenting the aftermath of a breakup, the Stockholm artist’s Sub Pop debut has the offbeat and genre-warped charm of Frank Ocean and SZA.” “Playlist” - The Guardian
“Airforce blue” flips waterbaby’s indie R&B into an electrified, auto-tuned collage with an easy intimacy.” - Brooklyn Vegan
“…a real jewel, a thrilling and evocative slice of future-facing pop.” “Track of the Day” - CLASH
“Thick layers of autotune do little to disguise the sweetness of her voice as she sings about first kisses and taking big risks. The overriding emotion is not excitement but vulnerability. “Do you remember?” she asks her crush over the preppy beat, caught somewhere between synth pop and R&B, “Because I do.” - The FADER
1. Airforce blue
2. My luv
4. Born too late
5. Wishing well