New York City based musician Stephen Babcock recently won our affection with his delightful single “Atlanta”. The track is a fun boost of pop Americana that can be found on his newly released EP Fiction.Babcock has many strengths that are showcased on the criminally brief EP. His voice is uniquely rustic while still delivered in the way of a best friend sitting beside you. His clever songwriting is refreshingly accessible but engaging. Our favorite line is found in album closer “5a”: “Is it bad that I miss her mother more than I miss her?” The track beautifully illustrates the embodiment of his songwriting. Romantic loss and playfully biting lyrics are backed by the perfect blend of slide guitar and organ.
“Seersucker Dress” again shows a popular love gone bad storyline. This territory is a strength of Babock, but we prefer tracks like “Darling” which starts off with a Noah Gundersen style vocal play before launching into a fun and lively folk tune. “Good Things” is a nod to the blues and New Orleans style rock of the south that heavily influences the album. Leaning into his Southern touring, the album takes cues from that rich tradition.
The artist is already a veteran to his everyman style. He began playing at age 15 after stealing records from his older brother. Since then, he has released an impressive catalog of two EP’s and two full-lengths. On Fiction, you can tell Babcock is in a sweet spot in his songwriting. Lessons learned and a growing maturation has benefited the young artist greatly. Fictionhas a Dawes style to it mixed with a little more optimism. He definitely has the twang of a country sound, but favors more of the Americana side of the genre scale. The steel guitar heavy album is a solid five-song narrative that will revive the soul and comfort anyone dealing with love, the loss of, or the distractions of a modern life. While the individual tracks are great in isolation, an honest listen to the entire EP is preferred and rewarded.
Fiction is available on all the streaming sites and we highly suggest you add and save your favorite tracks to your Spotify playlists. Stephen Babcock is a gem of a songwriter, and we think you will totally love him.