words: Michael Brooks
On “Out Of This Country”, the lead single off Babehoven’s debut EP Sleep, songwriter Maya Bon examines the fatigue of complacency over a lulling folk-rock shuffle with insight and familiarity. Chugging along at a wistful pace (like counting the mile markers on lonely stretches of highway) the track is built around a simple foundation of guitar, bass, and drums. Aside from the occasional flourish of Bon’s booming voice the arrangement is calm and subdued, at least on the surface level. Hiding beneath everything is a track nearly bursting at the seam, leading one to wonder whether this thing’s going to be able to keep it together or if it’s all going to fall apart. Thankfully the track never falters and "Out Of This Country" serves as an exercise in understated nuance. Bon’s wispy vocals fill the air like smoke, her delivery breathtakingly daunting, as lines like the repeated refrain of “I’ve lost all hope for me” stop you dead in your tracks. The driving force behind the song, this aching for an escape from suburban humdrum and the trivialities of everyday life, is simultaneously devastating and poignant. For those of us hearing Babehoven for the first time, it’s one hell of an introduction.