Whether intentional or not, the title of Griff Washburn’s newest EP seems to honor the solitary life of social distancing currently in place. Released under his stage name Goth Babe, Mt. Bachelor consists of three tracks of chillwave blended with dreamy surfer rock. According to one of his recent Instagram posts, the EP has pulled in record-breaking streams of any Goth Babe song released to date. This is an impressive feat when Spotify lists that the popular indie artist has over twelve hundred thousand monthly listeners.
Wanderlust on a whole new level
The longtime traveler is known for writing and recording tracks out of his camper, which serves as a recording studio, home and mode of exploration used to traverse up and down the West coast. Washburn’s long list of singles and EPs can be traced back to his first, Wasted Time/Sunshine, released in 2015. Much of his discography is named after scenic points dotted along the Pacific, including Point Mugu (California) and Mt. Hood (Oregon).
One listen of ambient track “Sometimes” or the spirited “Weekend Friend” will confirm Goth Babe’s name is quite contradictory. His M.O. is layering guitar, melancholic vocals and sleepy synth to create a dreamy haze.
The Goth Babe Trifecta
The EP opens with “End of Summer.” The track starts out with a lone guitar and what almost sounds like cicadas in the background, as if the listener is alone with Griff in the woods for a one-on-one show. Clinking chains and rhythmic clapping join in as he challenges “So you think you are ready soon?” He confides, “My eyes say I’m ready but I know I’m not.”
The guitar cruises along and the listener settles into the groove of the song, warming up to summer just before it comes to a close. The breakdown cuts in about halfway through with rushing velocity, juxtaposing steady bass peppered with frenzied synth. Like many of Goth Babe’s singles, it is a blend of bedroom pop and high energy, creating a fever dream effect that makes you want to dance despite its relaxed, almost lazy, tone.
The song “Froggies” highlights themes of loneliness that come alongside the connotations shared with the name Mt. Bachelor. Washburn croons, “Feeling all alone when I get a call. Half across the world, I guess that’s fine.”
Closing with a call to love
Released as a single earlier in the month, “The River” serves as the third and final track on this EP. With a faster tempo than it’s siblings, the percussion functions similar to a throbbing heartbeat. The verses carry lyrics heavy with adoration. “You wanna know what I think when I’m mad at you. I love you more than the world that holds us two.” With an alternating kick drum and snare pairing layered beneath a synth pitch that borders on eerie, it is a call to a lover with a repeated request for comfort and security.
Overall, the EP serves as proof of Goth Babe’s ever-maturing sound. It’s been a delightful dream-come-true watching this artist develop over time and we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.