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This week: Crush on Me by Sir Babygirl (Father/Daughter Records, 2019)
Why we’re into it: This album is an absolutely delightful romp through our most self-indulgent fantasies.
“You don’t know me anymore,” sings Sir Babygirl—born Kelsey Hogue—in their opening track before breaking into a shout. “I changed my hair! I changed my hair! I changed my hair!”
Bisexual and non-binary, Hogue’s presence is an energizing one. Articulating the battle of trying to fully love yourself while also exploring the isolation of one’s mind can be a raw struggle. But it’s a struggle that Hogue doesn’t shy away from. It’s not easy to love yourself—well, maybe it is for some—and for many, the battle is constant. Some days are great, some days are bad. But it’s always changing.
“Heels” is rightfully a standout on the album. “Lights shine brighter when there’s tears in your eyes/I guess that’s a nice surprise.” These lyrics not only paint a dazzling picture, they speak to a weird and sort of sad truth: Lights do shine brighter when you’re looking at them through tearful eyes. But when you really dig into it, Hogue’s strength is their ability to identify the penetrating feelings of insecurity and isolation, turning them into the lyrics of “Haunted House.” “And no one knows the difference from my laughter and my screams/When everyone around me’s 20 shots under the sea.” When it comes down to it, Hogue’s understanding that we aren’t perfect, but still worthy of loving ourselves, is the beating heart of these tracks.
This idea is exercised in tracks like “Everyone Is a Bad Friend” and “Pink Lite” and seems to be the inspiration behind their DIY production sound. At moments the production is calm and reserved—like those first moments of a first date when you’re extra careful about how you present yourself. But more so the production is loud, scream-y, and over-the-top, feeling like an embodiment of letting loose and coming to terms with all your flaws—and having fun with them.
That talent of articulation—of being able to find the words for thoughts and feelings that often escape us—is incredibly impressive. Hogue’s ability to infuse this album’s production with the same convictions that drive its lyrics is equally impressive. The ability to do both? Next level. And that’s what Crush on Me is: next level.