Bakers Eddy

On their debut album, Love Boredom Bicycles, Bakers Eddy are the life of the party.
“There was never any point where I was like, the album needs to have these themes, I was
just writing what came to me. But fortunately, I only wrote about three things. And that’s
what the fucking title is!” laughs Ciarann Babbington, front-man for Bakers Eddy. “It made it
very easy.”
On their debut album, Love Boredom Bicycles, everything sounds effortless for Ciarann and
his bandmates: twin brothers, guitarist Alex and bassist Ian Spagnolo, and drummer Jamie
Gordon. Bursting with youthful energy, swagger, a bucket load of hooks and an irresistibly
charming sense of humour, rarely does an album sound as though the people making it are
having this much fun.
That’s largely because they were. Having been a band since they were 12-year-old kids in
Wellington, and now 12 years later living together in a share house in Melbourne (Gen Z
Monkees, anyone?), they couldn’t be tighter friends. It’s a closeness they like to bring with
them into the studio. Literally. “We’re all in the same room when we’re recording. Like when
Jamie’s recording drums, we squeeze in tight around him, in this giant room we’re all in nice
and tight and I’m running around Jamie, and just like causing havoc and then we make a
point to yell random shit,” says Ciarann. “For this record music came second and bullshit
came first,” jokes Ian.
It was all about creating an environment where energy and spirits are high. “Even when we
were recording guitar and bass,” says Alex, “we’d all be standing up and hopping along and
shit like that, not just sitting there, trying to get everything perfect.” For the band it was
about vibe over everything. “We made a point of making it sound more like the demos, cos
when the demos were recorded at home we were often having a bit of a party,” says
Ciarann. “It’s like, let’s be loud and have some fun.”
That’s not to say the process was without its hiccups though. Rewind a year to a prepandemic world and the guys were gearing up to release a new EP, but as the world ground
to a halt, the band’s plans changed when the enforced break had an unexpectedly inspiring
effect.
“When you’re doing live shows and you’re playing songs that people like to hear, you start
to go, ‘People like hearing this stuff, that means we should keep doing it this way’,” says
Ciarann. “You’re not prepared to go in another direction. But because we hadn’t done a live
show in ages, it was just us and it was like, ‘Fuck that, let’s just do what we want to do and
hope people like it as much’.”
Starting with ‘Peripheral Vision’, the band began to write a stream of songs they were more
proud of than anything else they’d ever written. “We had ‘Peripheral Vision’, but we didn’t
feel like it fit on the EP,” Ciarann says. “We soon realised actually we much prefer this song
to the songs we released last year and the EP. This is the sound, let’s just focus on that!”
Rather than sit on their hands, waiting to drop an EP they’d gone lukewarm on, they decided
to scrap it all and instead throw themselves headlong into writing and releasing an album.
“Nostalgia but also, fast paced, fucked chords and a little bit stupid. Those are all the things
that make ‘Peripheral Vision’,” says Ciarann. “So it was like, right, all the songs from here on
need to have those four things: stupidity, fast chords, weird chords and nostalgia.” The
shambolically brilliant result is Love Boredom Bicycles.
Opening with the one two punch of ‘Concertina’ and ‘Hi-Vis Baby’, an ode to Ciarann’s bike
riding lifestyle, it almost feels like the band are daring you to try and keep up with them and
their tightly wound, sharply written songs. And the energy rarely dips. The closest they come
to a ballad is lead single ‘21’, a song about the uncertainty of growing up and a reflection on
youth, but even that has too much swing in its step to slow them down. ‘No No No’ is a oneminute blast of hardcore punk, that somehow manages to squeeze in a woozy jazz outro.
‘FMO’ (Fucking Me Over) serves up a classic rock chorus Cheap Trick would kill for and ‘My
Baby’s Like Cigarettes’ (which contains excellent lines like, “My baby’s like electrolytes, she’s
good for me”) is a love song like no other. In another band’s hands, it might have ended up
as a soppy ballad, but here its tenderness is cloaked in a healthy dose of humour.
It’s not all fun and games though. In amongst all the playful jostling and boisterous antics,
there’s still plenty of room for nuance. “I love serious topics being hidden behind a bit of
humour,” says Babbington. “And I also like really sad songs being masked by really happy
music. ‘Drinking Mood’ is a really upbeat, high tempo, fun song with a big sing-a-long in the
middle, but it’s actually one of the most depressing songs on the record. It’s about being so
depressed that you turn to booze.”
As restrictions started to lift, the band hit the studio with producer Oscar Dawson (Holy
Holy). Their aim was to capture the excitement of the demos they’d made themselves during
lockdown in their share house studio. “The demos excited us. They were what we wanted to
listen to and what we wanted to put out,” says Alex. They were just looking for someone to
sharpen them up a bit. That’s where Oscar came in.
“Oscar was totally onboard with what we wanted to do, which was to re-create the demos
that we loved,” Ciarann says. “He had the vibe, so all of his suggestions were bang on.” Ian
continues, “Like we could say, we don’t want this song to sound masculine. And he’d be like,
‘Ok so here’s some ways to make it not sound masculine’, and they’re all like perfect.”
Dawson encouraged the band to trust their impulses and to try the ideas they’d previously
lacked the confidence to see through. In the past where they’d try to make things sound
heavier by stacking distorted guitars and layering up gang style shout-a-long vocals, this time
they were trying to work out how to make things sound bigger without leaning on the
obvious. “It was like, let’s stay away from this masculine sound,” says Ciarann. “Let’s fill it up
with really gorgeous harmonies and melodies instead. Or let’s remove something and add in
a tambourine. There you go, another level!”
“We basically got rid of all power chords,” says Alex. “So any of the choruses with the
chunkier guitars, it’s just the E string.”
By capturing that exuberant spirit of the demos, Baker’s Eddy have released an album with
good times coursing through its veins. “The whole record is supposed to sound like the life
of the party,” explains Ciarann. “’Concertina’ is the kick arse opener where you walk through
the doors and everyone’s vibing and having a great time. And then it takes you through the
journey of this party and then you’re left at like 5 o’clock in the morning, with like 2 or 3
people around, you’re gonna have a beer and go to bed. And you’re just reflecting, like,
‘That was a sick party, yeah.’”