by Alexa Wong
Babes, a five piece from Los Angeles, is made up of siblings Sarah Rayne Leigh, Aaron Billy Leigh and Zach Leigh and their cousins Jeffrey John Baird and Bryan Jeffrey Harris. They recently released their debut album, “Untitled (5 Tears),” a mix of dreamy pop, ‘80s ballads and synths. Babes is playing at Mercury Lounge this Saturday, Nov. 7.
WSN: How did it all start?
Sarah Rayne Leigh: Our parents are both professional ballet dancers. [They’re] very artistic and weird. They’re a big influence on who we are. Since we were kids, we were in and out of bands. We all had piano and guitar lessons. From there, the band’s kinda formed naturally. We can’t do anything else. This is it for us and we love it.
WSN: What is it like making music and touring with family?
SL: It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever felt. You get to connect with people in a way that I’ve never connected with anyone before. You’re in a band with people and you’re closer than you’ve ever been. Even too close sometimes. [Touring] is wonderful. It’s like a road trip, but with a purpose. You get to play music every night and it’s magical. The five of us get to cram into a Motel 6 room. We get drunk and do stupid shit. We make friends and make enemies. But as soon as we step inside the van, everyone’s happy. We try and be light about it. Some people say it can be demoralizing and I say fuck that. I love it.
WSN: Tell me about “Untitled (5 Tears).”
SL: The album kind of encompasses everything we’ve been feeling for a while. It’s sad. It’s lonely. It’s about love and loss. Hopefully it makes people feel better and a little more free.
WSN: Your album encompasses a bit of everything. How did you develop this unique sound?
SL: We listened to a lot of different shit growing up, from Wu-Tang Clan to West Side Story. My brother Aaron developed this way of producing that gives us this sound after being on the road and stealing time from studios. It gives us a good mix and a good range of sounds and feelings. I think [this mix] has been important for communication and what we’re trying to say.
WSN: What’s your current favorite song off of the album?
SL: We’ve been playing “I Need Love.” It’s really pretty and really sad. The song just feels right. Every time you play a song, it’s like a new feeling. That’s the fun thing about music.
WSN: How do you feel being able to play music for a living?
SL: It feels great. But you have to do it for the right reasons. They’re something you have to find yourself. We’ve worked hard on this for a long time and we get so much joy out of it. It’s all worthwhile. I think, for us, those are the right reasons. Money’s great too, but if you only want that, be a doctor or something.
Alexa Wong is Creative Director. Email her at email@example.com