Breaking: Amazing Baby
Who: A Brooklyn-based quintet who broke out at this year’s SXSW on the strength of their free debut EP The Infinite Fucking Cross who have since gone on to open for Cold War Kids and MGMT. Bummed with their jobs working as ringtone designers, Will Roan and Simon O’Connor initially formed Amazing Baby as something to do after hours. “We would just sit around getting really wasted and work on songs,” says Roan. “We didn’t think we’d be very popular.”
Sounds Like: On their stunning debut album Rewild (out this month), Amazing Baby deliver tunes that are at times thoroughly vintage and refreshingly futuristic: “The Narwhal” sounds like Led Zeppelin at their druggiest and most mystical; “Invisible Place” soars and swoops like Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” and “Kankra” builds into such an anthemic frenzy, you’ll be oozing serotonin for days. The crew also have a wonky sense of humor, especially on tunes like the scuzzed-out jam “Smoke Bros,” which features stoner-appropriate ruminations like “She protects her animals/ We are starving cannibals.” “We’re all like super emotional screwed up dudes,” says Roan. “It’s not all about raging songs — we’ve got a pretty strong sense of musical aesthetics, even if our lyrics are totally ridiculous sometimes.”
• Amazing Baby are part of Brooklyn’s crew of neo-psychedelic bands, which also includes MGMT and Chairlift. In fact, O’Connor used to room with MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser at Wesleyan. “We’ve all slept with the same girls,” says Roan. “It’s funny, because when I was first introduced to Ben, I was told his name was ‘Bano.’ I thought that’s what his name was, but it turns out it’s some nickname for him. Wesleyan has like a bro-thing going on there and that’s what they called him. He told me he didn’t like being called that only recently. I felt so bad about that for a while.”
• During a recent gig on Halloween with MGMT, Amazing Baby discovered they had an unlikely fan: Bill Murray, who was hanging out at the gig and stuck around to chat with the band afterwards. “We hung out with him all night,” says Roan. “We were about to go on tour in Europe and he told us all about Ireland. That was so cool.”
• Amazing Baby may be relative newcomers over here — but they’ve gained quite a fanbase lady fans in Europe. “We were partying in Glasgow after a show and I ended up sampling some of the local pharmaceuticals and hooking up with a couple of girls,” says Roan. “Actually, I’m just kidding. We have fans that are strange middle-aged men that have shown up to our hotels. That’s about as far as we get with groupies.”
Get It Now: Click above to watch an exclusive acoustic performance of “The Narwhal,” live from the Rolling Stone offices.