The dressing around the sequence of tracks on Sir Babygirl’s Crush On Me lends to a surreal, otherworldliness. Kelsie Hogue, the real human behind the self-mythologizing pseudonym Sir Babygirl, sits in a spiral of her own creation. Sonic references swirl as themes unfold, call-back and reprise. Lyrics are like Trojan horses. Subjects of sexual identity, personal identity, and personal demons slip into party-centric tunes as singable refrains; poetically quotable phrases.
The core of the album is a bold document of self-exploration. Yes, there’s plenty of gender-politic stuff here as Hogue describes herself as a kind of bi-sexual cinderella. A description made all the more potent when we learn that the album was composed in the artist’s childhood bedroom, now converted into a studio. But here’s the thing – there’s a sense that for all the talk of sexual stuff, the greater significance is discovery and establishment of an authentic self. ‘Sex’ or whatever, whilst hugely significant, only scratches the surface of the spiritual depth that Hogue swims through.
The album’s title track is a perfect description of the journey. A hall of mirrors where Hogue first addresses a reflection of herself, and then her real self. So, yeah, there’s sex-positive pride, but there’s also something here that cuts to the rub of why we make art. Everything’s a selfie, kinda. If you think about it.
“I was buried in the summer / all of those parties ago. And I try not to remember ’till my body lets me go…” It’s lines like this that measure time in social occurrences, but that ties the narrator to a visceral, physical aloneness. Trapped perfectly inside herself Sir Babygirl laments that she cannot wait until she loses her friends tomorrow. ‘Haunted House’ doesn’t directly cite Kurt Cobain. But there’s some of his tonal quality here. Where Cobain sang ‘I wish I was like you – easily amused” Hogue observes her easily entertained friends. She laments “They’re all dancing, and they’re all free, / I was once like them, but now I freeze when someone approaches” Parties are haunted houses, delivering psychic blows that will be carried forever. So, this is the burden of self-determination. A deeper understanding, a non-conforming assertion of individuality means also a dislocation from those who never enquire. Perfect joy-pain stuff. Of course, the track is ultimately danceable.
It’s not all self-serious. In fact, for all the first-person talk, there’s very little egotistical elevation across the album. The lightness of Hogue’s touch allows her to tackle weightier issues whilst remaining light, even breezy, herself. Her work ethic is evidenced in a world of her own creation. Internal and private dialogs are opened up to become inclusive, and offer support to those who are enduring what she has already survived. There are signals, pointers, and perspectives here that suggest that wit and absurdism are a significant spiritual devices. Sir Babygirl is not wrong.
HURRY – BUY – SIR BABYGIRL MUSIC