TRACK REVIEW: Gold Baby - Maggots



Gold Baby


PHOTO CREDIT: Keira-Anee Photography 






The track, Maggots, is available via:




London, U.K.


3rd December, 2018


MAYBE this is going to be my last review...


 PHOTO CREDIT: Keira-Anee Photography 

of the year - because there isn’t anything in mind that suggests itself for tomorrow. I shall do my best to do Gold Baby justice but I am a bit sore at the moment – I have a wicked cold and moving about is rather tricky! I do not need to be that mobile but I wanted to discuss the band in the context of a dance-worthy noise; a combination of Punk and Pop that we could do a lot more with and bands who get stronger between releases. I also want to look at song inspiration and doing something different in music; who I am tipping for 2019 and why I am making changes. It is hard to see which acts are worth recommendation and how the next year will progress. I think the artists who will go far and make changes are those who can produce something upbeat and energised but has some substance. I do think this year has been a good one but we need more acts that are capable of bringing some fun and depth. Gold Baby take the basis of Punk – its rawness and direct energy – but they can produce some excellent Pop and mix it together. What you get is a nice balance of spritz and colour and some great physicality. The band pride themselves in being able to bring something fantastic and ripe that gets you moving and stays in the mind. I have heard a few songs with this ideal in 2018 but it is good to see Gold Baby strike and promise something cool for 2019. It is all very well offering some spirit and catchiness but you need to be able to balance this with nuance and substance. I will bring these words up again but I have encountered acts that throw together aimless sounds and they have not stuck around. Gold Baby are masterful when it comes to getting you to the dancefloor and keeping your mind rattling; they are North London’s catchy troupe who can get you involved and stand aside from the competition.


 PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Patmore

I will move to another subject in a bit but I am keen to look at songs that provide a catchy swing, some distinct swagger and a colorful brew. The title, Maggots, might not sound like a great song for those who want to dance and get together but you’d be wrong. I think next year needs to be synonymous with upbeat and alive songs. We have had so many lower-beat tracks that have done their work but how many rousing and colorful songs have we all witnessed? I think something has been missing so it is good to see Gold Baby come to the fore. Variegated and bold songs that get your feet moving is a rarity on the scene and many assume you cannot provide something uplifting and catchy without compromising. It is a hard balance to achieve but, if you are like Gold Baby, there is a natural intuition and guidance. The band manages to take the energy and edginess of Punk and marry that with the softer edge of Pop. Pop-Punk is a common genre today and one that is appealing to a lot of new artists. It is much more credible and varied than Pop and you can match an aspect of snarl and spit with a smiling and spirited vein of Pop. Gold Baby want people to take them seriously but they do not want to come across as overly-serious and po-faced. I have studied a lot of the artists emerging this year and there are none that have the same components as Gold Baby. They have a special energy and one that will continue into 2019. I shall move things on and talk more about Punk and Pop but I want to stay with the subject of noise and a sound that gets you uplifted. I will talk about it later but music has showed very little optimism and positive spirit through 2018. I think we need to start promoting acts who can make a great brew that gets you to the floor and stays in the brain for ages.

 PHOTO CREDIT: Keira-Anee Photography 

Let’s investigate Pop and Punk a bit more and what can be produced if they are united with great care. I am a fan of both genres and feel the unification is a natural and wonderful thing. Gold Baby sort of have the Pop glee and skip of some of the mainstream’s best but they fuse that with the sort of Punk you’d catch Kim Deal playing. These worlds might be difficult to cut together in lesser hands but Gold Baby manage to keep the glee and pop solid but sprinkle in the grime and authority of Punk. I do wonder whether Pop-Punk is going to take over next year and whether it will dominate. I have been a bit concerned with the lack of happiness and forward-thinking ethos in music this year so I think we need to embrace and expose Pop-Punk more in 2018. We need to show more hope in 2019 and I think Pop-Punk has a big role to play. If we are going to showcase bands that stick around and can influence us then the music needs to possess something cheery and smiling. That is not to suggest Gold Baby are exchanging credibility and coolness to write songs that are easily marketable and commercial. They manage to bring us the accessibility of Pop and sounds that can appeal to a certain demographic but there is the swagger and punch of Punk. It is the best of both worlds and here is a band that can please everyone without making any concessions. The music that comes from them is pure and well-constructed and there are bags of fun. I love how they can mingle Pop and Punk and not manage to repeat what is already out there. With Pop-Punk, you can get artists that sound the same and it is a little generic. Rather than repeat what is out there; Gold Baby provide their own brand that should be highlighted. I think Pop-Punk will replace Pop in terms of popularity because you have the best of both worlds. The Pop is not too sugary and commercial whilst the Punk side of things can be understood by everyone.


 PHOTO CREDIT: @Muldooon

Look at the influences one can find on a song like Maggots. The band has mentioned artists like Kim Deal and Courtney Barnett. One gets earnestness in the lyrics but you also get plenty of humour, determination and catchiness. It is a fantastic and complex cocktail that many will want to drink down for a long time. I am still hooked on the song and need to spend time investigating more. I will follow Gold Baby into 2019 and feel they have a lot more to say. This is their second single and I will talk more about the way they have developed and matured. I do think Pop has reached a bit of a limit at the moment and there is a lot of room for development. What we have now is quite inward-looking and does not possess the same positive energy and catchiness as times past. I am a bit worried that Pop is getting too serious and concerned with being personal and revealing. Some of the joy has been sacrificed and I do feel Pop-Punk is a good way of bringing it back. Maybe Gold Baby alone cannot revitallise the Pop industry but they are releasing music that definitely works its way into the mind and gets the body moving. I think Punk has the danger of becoming too intense and aimless but, if you are a band like IDLES or Shame; you can write something deep and inspiring without being too gloomy or aggressive. I do know there is some upbeat music around but, more and more, it is escaping and being replaced by something downbeat. It is sad to see but maybe we can reverse it in 2019. I do think artists need to remember why a lot of us listen to music. We want that escapism and release that we might not get anywhere else. I shall come to another topic as my bones are aching quite a bit right now!

 PHOTO CREDIT: @snapperchap

Maggots is the sound of Gold Baby stepping things up and writing their finest cut. The theme of the song is about missing the boat or being eaten alive by your own expectations. They have already released the single, What Party?, but Maggots is the band discussing expectations and being late to the party. This is a theme that is not often explored in music. I have listened to a load of songs this year and a great deal of them are personal and relate to relationships. I have experienced music that casts its view outside and takes a more general approach and I am always attracted more to these tracks. Music is full of the personal and sad and I think we need to encourage artists to be a bit more diverse and open their mindset. I love Maggots because it is a move up for Gold Baby but its subject matter is something we can all get behind. I think we will remember music and artists will get further in the industry is they write songs that step away from the love-based and take a different approach. I feel we can take greater heart and direction from songs that have a bold message and are uplifting. Rather than bemoan what is happening in love and put that onto the page; let’s step away from that and write songs that provide guidance, strength and general drive. That notion of missing out on things or putting too much pressure in yourself is something I would like to see explored in music more. How often do we see artists going away from love and being braver?! I think there are a few who are bold and do that but so many that are obsessed with their own love and heartache. It is sad to see the obsession with the self and relationships but bands like Gold Baby are making big steps. You can definitely relate to Maggots and bond with the messages.


 PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Patmore

I shall come to look at my final topic in a bit but I want to stay on the idea of subject matter. Gold Baby have taken a big step forward from their debut and have found a new focus. What Party? was a great start and opening but I can feel the band upping it and opening up on Maggots. The title might not provoke joy and lovely images but it is apt regarding the subject matter. The notion of being consumed by expectations or missing out on the boat is an intriguing one and it marks a new creative leap for Gold Baby. I am curious what will come next from the London band and how they develop. I am curious to find out whether the band will release an E.P. or album or put another single into the world. Maggots is a great offering from a band on the rise and a track that has captured the imagination. I am always interested how artists approach a song and what compels them to write how they do. Maybe Maggots is based on their own experiences and struggle to get noticed. Maybe it is based on something else but I can hear personal experience and relevance in the song. I am not suggesting the band will always look away from love but I like how they approach music and they are not beholden to familiarity. 2019 is a big year for them and one that will see them get to a new audience and capture the public imagination. There are a lot of Pop-Punk bands around but Gold Panda seem to have that advantage. If we always have the same songs that talk about love then we are not going to make any progress and change the industry. Let’s move on from this subject and look at 2019 and what will come through.


 PHOTO CREDIT: Don Blanford

I am excited to see what is happening next for Gold Baby and where they take their music. 2018 has been a good year for them and they have ambitions afoot. In terms of sonic shift and what will come through; I feel Pop-Punk will take more of a stand. Other great bands like The Wild Things are brewing together Pop and Punk and writing in an original and electric way. I would like to see Pop continue in the mainstream but I do wonder whether it is too insular and focused on love. It can be dangerous carrying down that line and not pushing away from the personal. I am making changes in 2019 and making moves in another direction. One of the dangers of stepping away from the comfort zone and embracing something fresh is that it can be a gamble and risky. Look around music and what is happening right now. There has been a lot of negativity and insular expression and we need to start holding artists that are willing to look at the wider world and different themes. Post-Punk will continue to reign and I do feel like Pop will evolve and step in another direction. Maybe it will not be as joyous and catchy as it once was but it will not quite be as serious and moody. I do hope things change and we see some real development. Gold Baby are among the chasing pack who will be putting their music out into the world and trying to make an impact. They have not been a band for too long but they have already taken strides and achieved quite a bit. I will come to the song in a bit but feel Gold Baby will keep growing and adding their magic to music. After only two singles, they have shown diversity and grown as a unit. I feel 2019 will be a very big one for them and they will keep on recruiting fans and getting some pretty awesome gigs.

 PHOTO CREDIT: Keira-Anee Photography

There are softer strums and tender notes that open Maggots. You get something almost Country-like that beckons in Maggots. Whilst the Punk and harder edge is not as pronounced as the more gentle side to the song; one is drawn into this terrific song. The chorus tells of being covered in maggots and things getting on top. Maybe the song’s hero/heroine has been a bit late to the party and tried their hardest to make things happen. Maggots concerns always missing the boat – regardless of what time you get there – and letting things slip away. One feels the lead project from her heart and one wonders whether there is a bit of the personal in the song. You can definitely sense some emotion and longing in the performance and, backed by touching yet physical backing; the song perfectly balances the soft and pressing. In the first stages, we get hints of Sixpence None the Richer and The Cardigans. The singing is pure and beckoning but one experiences a determination and need for things to change. Maybe that will not come yet but, as you get settled in, the song kicks up a gear and things get cutting. The song changes course and goes from this rather delicate and gentle thing to something much more attacking and spiked. This brief explosion and bite gives us a very physical and evocative revelation. I am not sure whether the coda is designed to bring maggots and that sense of being eaten but it is a rather unexpected and thrilling little stab. It does not last long, as I say, and we get a return to the melodic and rhythmic line. I love the sound the band have created and how it sounds like Pop but not like anything that is around at the moment. I know what Maggots is about but unravelling the lyrics and we get new insight. The tones and lines we hear can be applied to the heroine but they can be taken to heart by everyone that listens to the song. If What Party? was about not having friends and being alone to the celebration then Maggots carries similar weight.

 PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Patmore

The heroine says (to the subject) that they learnt things along the way and things would have been better. I love how the song seems direct and clear but there is an oblique nature. You can sort of guess where the words are coming from but there is mystery and room for interpretation. I was listening back to see if I could pick up on anything new and whether there was any fresh revelation. Maggots is a great song that boasts an incredible melody and tune that gets into the head and enlivens the senses. I do not think I have heard another band take this approach to song and show the same influences. In any case; Gold Baby are a fantastic band that stand aside from the pack and genuine show legs. I love Maggots and the way it makes you feel. Maybe the themes and messages have a sense of struggle in them but Gold Baby never drag you down and show any sort of negativity. Ensure you get into the mind and heart of the song and let it do its work. I think the band has hit on a rare and exciting vein and they should be congratulated. Everyone will take something different away from Maggots but the song’s sheer smile, sense of complexity and mystery will surely resonate. I have been excited to play it again and again and discover stuff that passed me by the first time. It is testament to a band that, while new and not as experienced as some out there, has that individual experience and combine their brilliance. The songwriting is astonishing the connection between the band members is tight and wonderful. There is so much colour through Maggots and do not be misled by the rather gruesome title. I think the London band have already come a long way but, if they keep producing songs like this, their road to success will be straight and golden.

Gold Baby started life early this year but the members have been part of the toilet scene for a long time. They have been around for a while and combine their knowledge into this incredible and solid band. Gold Baby is a great project built from strong foundations and an effortless spirit. The members have a love for one another and they are incredibly tight. I know they will have to rely on smaller gigs for a lot of 2019 but I think they will be able to attract bigger gigs later in the year. Maybe it will not be an instant transformation but, the more their music gets out and attracts, the larger the demands will get. I would like to see them play the larger venues because I think their music warrants that space and can definitely get the room buzzing. Perhaps Gold Baby will stick with smaller gigs for a time and cut their teeth - and you know there will be more material. I hope we get an E.P. but I am not putting pressure on the band. Maggots is a great track that announces its ambitions and colours very quickly and you’ll keep coming back time and time again. I shall end things here but it has been great getting to know the band more and seeing where they are headed. Despite my aching bones – it has been tricky! – I hope I have managed to assess the band well and got to the core. The Pop-Punk band has only been in circulation a little but I am excited to follow them and watch them strike. We need more bands like this around to offer original intent and upbeat expression in music. I might get together another review by 2019 – if I am still alive tomorrow – but it is good to end things with Gold Baby. They are a formidable force and have given the world some brilliant music.

@keiraanee 6.jpg

  PHOTO CREDIT: Keira-Anee Photography

I am hopeful the band will be among the biggest acts of 2019 and a lot of journalists get behind them. I have not even talked about the images and social media outlay for Gold Baby but that is a great weapon in their arsenal. There is a professionalism and sense of passion that goes beyond the music and feeds into social media. One gets some great shots of the band and can find them across all platforms. Many might assume this is a minor aspect but so many artists overlook stuff like photos and being across social media channels. You know Gold Baby have thought about everything and are a lot more prepared than most musicians around. I will end things now but recommend everyone seek out Gold Baby and check out their latest single, Maggots. They have so much passion and energy and their songwriting is a lot more engrossing and deep than most of what is out there. It is a great time for the North London collective and Maggots is a song that burrows under the skin and sticks around forever. Few bands come along that create such an impact but, in the final throes of 2018, we have a band that has the promise to go as far as they like. Make sure you get behind the incredible Gold Baby and step with them...

 PHOTO CREDIT: Keira-Anee Photography

INTO the coming year.    


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