Don’t try to define Lion Babe. They exist on a different plane and music fans get the chance to experience their cosmic electric neosoul hybrid genre of music right now. And for Lion babe they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman joined us for a quick DJ set in the Toyota Music Tent on Sunday at Lollapalooza, kicking their set off with “Sunshowers” by Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band. The track is a mix of numerous genres ranging from 70’s disco and big band jazz. Like Lion Babe, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band incorporated numerous musical influences to create a sound that was clearly their own. Although it might not have made sense at the time, fans still responded enthusiastically to the group. Likewise, it’s apparent that Lion Babe will thrive for the same reasons. “We like to hit all of the realms,” Goodman said. Adding that it’s that diversity of sounds means that, “when you’re chilling at home by yourself or you’re at a festival like this, you’ll always have the right sound.”
The group has released an EP and they are currently at work on their debut album. Thus far they have collaborated with the likes of Pharrell Williams on the track, “Wonder Woman,” released in March of this year. The track is a classic R&B jam coupled with bluesy vocal samples, glitchy synths and traplite beats. Like most other Lion Babe tracks, it’s difficult to describe but still compelling.
“We’ve done a lot of collaborations with different producers and writers, but a lot of the songs are from when we first started,” Hervey said. The aesthetics of some of the original tracks have changed since the group first wrote them years ago. “We try to be mindful,” Goodman began, “But as we’ve performed more shows, especially festivals, we’ve realized we wanted stuff that was more funk, more uptempo kind of vibe compared to the earlier songs which were more influenced by slower tempo soul music.” They’re also working on new material and making the final decisions as to what tracks will be included in the album.
Their set went on to include everything from hip hop to house to R&B. “I was just totally freestyling,” Goodman said about his song selection during their DJ set. “I just played songs that we like to listen to that have a turnup vibe.” Rather than keep it as a straightforward DJ set the duo made it more of an interactive performance with Harvey singing along to many of the tracks including ghost town DJ’s “By Boo.”
Surprisingly, their DJ set was the first time they’d ever incorporated Harvey’s vocals into the mix, but members of the giddy audience wouldn’t have had a clue. As each new track came on the speakers, the enthusiastic crowd bopped to the music and began to sing along, too. It was a dance party after the storm and a welcome one. And even though they played a DJ set only, the experience was as slick and unique as any other show they’ve ever performed.