Babitha | Credit: Lachlan Duthie

Track By Track: Babitha Unpacks Her Debut Album ‘Brighter Side of Blue’

Babitha is the project of Sydney-based singer-songwriter Imogen Grist. The artist’s debut album, Brighter Side of Blue, is out now via Spunk! Records. The album arrives two years after the project’s debut EP, Through the Light, which featured the breakout singles ‘Get Away’ and ‘The Clown’.

Babitha teased the album with the singles ‘Only Fair’ and ‘Night and Day’, the former of which charts a “twisted love triangle between a fish, a fisherman and a cormorant.” Grist’s frequent on-stage pals Alexi Grivas, Cecil Coleman (Body Type) and Russell Fitzgibbon (Skeleten) all contribute to the record, along with Bowen Shakallis and Cody Munro Moore, who oversaw the recording sessions at Stranded Studios in Bellambi, NSW.

Babitha: Through the Light

1. Only Fair

Babitha: ‘Only Fair’ tells the tale of a twisted love triangle, of sorts, between a fish, a fisherman and a cormorant. The cormorant wants the fish, the fish wants the fisherman, and the fisherman wants to save the fish from the cormorant just so he can catch the fish himself. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, or perhaps it’s just a story about unrequited love.

2. Night and Day

B: ‘Night and Day’ was written during the throes of lockdown and is a tribute to my upstairs neighbour. This was a remote collaborative experiment between myself and pedal steel player, Jy-Perry Banks (Steelin Hearts) – my first co-writing experience.

Inspired by David Lynch’s work and the music of Angelo Badalamenti, the track dips into a glittery 80s palette of dream pop and soft rock with melancholy hues.

3. Happy Person

B: ‘Happy Person’ pokes fun at the unavoidable, sometimes unflattering stages we go through after a breakup. Everyone knows this period offers the perfect opportunity for reflection and self-development, but it’s easy to let the bitterness take over. Hopefully this song serves as a reminder that we are all flawed and fragile creatures, just trying to be happy.

4. Ants | 5. Lost in a Daze

B: ‘Ants’ and ‘Lost in a Daze’ document the tender beginning and tragic end of a relationship.

6. Always

B: ‘Always’ borrows sounds from the traditional country palette and is a tribute to my late father.

Babitha – ‘Only Fair’

7. Brighter Side of Blue

B‘Brighter Side of Blue’ was inspired by the complex relationships between different generations and those with poor role models. No one is destined to be like their parents, and we all hold the capacity to break the mould.

8. ‘How the Time is Tickin’’

B: Like ‘Always’, ‘How the Time is Tickin” is a tribute to my later father and was inspired by the sounds of traditional country music.

9. In My Own Time

B: ‘In My Own Time’ is more of a punchy breakup anthem.

10. Ghost

B: ‘Ghost’ ventures into pastiche territory, playing on typical Western tropes. The story is told from the point-of-view of a ghost who was murdered by her lover.

11. Nothin’ Left to Burn

B: ‘Nothin’ Left to Burn’ is a song I wrote when I was feeling rather dubious about the state of our politics and how the future of our planet would unfold. It was a way to remedy the apathy that tends to creep in when one ponders such things.

12. Fade Away

B: The album ends with ‘Fade Away’, a track that dips into a heavier psych-rock sound. I wanted to create something moody and cinematic with lots of layers and textural elements. I think it would pair really well with an epic slow-mo scene in an action film or video game.

I wanted the album to have a distinct ending, like you’re in the closing chapter of a book or waking from a long dream. The piano outro, improvised by Russell Fitzgibbon, conjures up a mystical, contemplative state, offering a moment of reflection.

Babitha’s Brighter Side of Blue is out now via Spunk! Records.

Further Reading

Watch Babitha’s Video for Latest Single ‘Only Fair’

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