Baby Jey, Edmonton, Alberta’s cosmic indie pop band, are sharing their sophomore album, Crop Circles, in full.
“The album is born from an unusual balance: trying to write music that reflects on trite Alberta stereotypes: ranchers, cowboys, lumberjacks, while also hypothesizing about something foreign and otherworldly.
Alberta has a long history of folk festivals and singer-songwriters. While that might be a musical starting place and an important memory for us, it’s not an aspiration or ultimate goal. The challenge is to be true to where you’ve come from without stopping yourself from dreaming wild dreams,” explains Jeremy Witten, vocalist and co-writer, whose main collaborator on the record was bassist and co-writer Dean Kheroufi.
Crop Circles includes “I Can’t Just Stop,” a song which captures a relationship falling apart during a cold Edmonton winter, as Witten reflects on an inability to let go of deeply felt emotions.
“Everyone knows that the pandemic created a lot of stress…and that stress either drew people closer together, or else did the opposite and exacerbated relational fault lines,” Witten explains.
The jaunty pop number belies its heartful and frustrated lyrics: “When I called you it was freezing cold out and when I told you I still love you, you hung up. I could see my breath though–that’s when I knew that my love was just steam.”
Crop Circles takes a darker approach to the band’s infectious pop melodies, which feel as if they were born out of the middle of a deserted plain. The album is interspersed with old radio interludes from when Alberta farmers began finding crop circles in their fields in the 1980s.
And yet, the band’s fascination with “crop circles” moves beyond their Canadian prairie context, floating high above the stratosphere, reaching for the ones who formed crop circles in the first place, with an impressive arsenal of spacey synthesizers and an array of cosmic samples.