Babehoven – “Birdseye” [Video]

One night in the winter of 2022, Maya Bon and Ryan Albert—the duo behind Hudson Valley-based band Babehoven—were hunkered down at home to watch the snow. They turned their living room furniture around to face the window and lit candles around the house, the glow lapping at the dark. It was dusk; the sky smoldered to cerulean. It was a moment that felt lit from within, cozy and transcendent, as they witnessed the blue world together.

It’s this image that shines at the heart of the band’s latest full-length album, Water’s Here In You—a tender light gleaming in the darkest part of the year, the warmth of home and companionship offering refuge from the cold. Across twelve varied and meticulous tracks, Babehoven offers their take on finding connection, groundedness, and growth in what we all carry within us. 

The phrase that became the album title appears in the song “My Best Friend Needs,” written in the aftermath of a friend’s car accident: Water’s here in you / it is here in me too. / It’s the blue lines dancing through you,” Bon sings. It’s the kind of delicate wisdom that a friend might give in a time of need, a reminder of our innate power and ability to move through intensity. “I felt that it encapsulated the meaning of loving through the pain, of seeing into the core of someone,” Bon explains. “I pictured the blue veins of the human body; how in some ways, they mimic the blue veins of water flowing across the earth. No matter how ferociously the fires of life may burn,” she adds, nodding to the flames that leap on the album’s cover, “we carry the water within us.”

Written and recorded at the duo’s home studio throughout the winter of 2022–2023, Water’s Here In You comes close on the heels of the band’s debut album Light Moving Time, which followed an impressively prolific canon of shorter releases dating back to 2017 when Bon founded the project in college. This latest album continues the thread of the band’s sonic DNA—blending hyper-melodic indie and folk rock with shades of shoegaze and the occasional nod toward country—but what sets it apart is the nature of the collaboration at its core. For the first time, Albert—who has operated as instrumentalist, producer, and engineer on past releases—joins forces with Bon as a songwriter, lending new depths to their musical partnership. It’s a fruitful collaboration that has led the duo to new and surprising chord choices and song structures, resulting in a collection of their biggest-sounding material to date. The songs unfold like fractals—often cyclical and spiraling outward from the center—with Bon’s lyrics and melodies cresting and compounding over Albert’s harmonic bedrock.

Bon takes daily walks around the Hudson Valley area, wandering down trails through meadows and woods. Having grown up in Topanga Canyon, California, she’s no stranger to pastoral environments, and this proximity to the natural world filters into her lyrics, which extol both the beauty and increasing instability of her environs. On Mount Eerie-esque “Millennia,” Bon talk-sings of capitalist detritus washed away by raging floods, while on “Rocket,” lightning cracks and “the rain sounds like a scream.” Meanwhile, on organ-driven incantation “Lonely Cold Seed,” her pure, chilling vocals rise and recede like glacial melt atop a storm of distortion as she sings of a bird in a birch tree and a seed in the cold ground, wondering what will happen to these life forms in winter: “Who can find root here?” 

These themes trace back to Bon’s passion for environmental and human rights issues, “especially when it comes to existential dread and confusion about how to live in times of such precarity.” She uncovers moments of wonder and revelation amidst the dread, steeped in a desire to create home. Across these songs, human and natural forms coalesce, evoking a sense of the numinous. “You are wind, you’re desire / you are stems and leaves and washed out streets,” she sings on “Millennia,” an echo of the blue veins and blue rivers that gave rise to the album’s title. Later, on “Lightness is Loud,” she invokes elements of flora and fauna—the coral and the snake—that curl inside her as an emblem of tenderness and protection. And on “Ella’s From Somewhere Else,” she references the metaphysical—“I am porous”—in what feels like a nod to Emerson’s “transparent eyeball”: in observing nature, we become it.

Elsewhere on the album, Bon turns an eye toward human relationships, reflecting on various forms of love, with a gesture towards reconciliation and forgiveness. On album opener and lead single “Birdseye”, she examines the trickier intricacies of being in relationship with one another. Bon wrote the song after reconnecting with an estranged family member who was gravely ill. “Life is fragile and fleeting,” she reflects. “I think about the thinness of this realm and the mysterious other, breaking open to the mystery, leaving skin and flesh behind.” Understanding this fragility comes with a softening: “With hands outstretched / I forgive you,” she sings. 

With Water’s Here In You, Babehoven has crafted something intricate and memorable, their own Spiral Jetty of melody and sound—built from the darkness of mud and the sparkle of salt—with lyrics that feel embedded in the land. The album is a rallying cry for camaraderie in the face of life’s challenges, resonating like a divining rod leading us to the source of our own strength: the water inside us, connecting us, nourishing us. It is an invitation, an offering, and a suggestion that we are at our best together. “We all need each other, especially now,” Bon says, reaching out a hand.


Fire Note Staff

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