Babetown share the Origins of new song “Swoon”: Stream

Ryan Adams-approved duo take a page from Kanye West and The Flaming Lips


Origins is a recurring new music feature in which an artist charts the influence of their latest hit single.

Last year, husband-and-wife duo Babetown released 1989 is HELL, a cover of Ryan Adams’ Love is Hell album done in the style of Taylor Swift. The collection was a cleverly done nod, of course, to Adams’ own album of Swift covers, and quickly garnered praise from Adams. “I LOVE YOU,” he told the band on Twitter, describing the project as “SO RAD!!”

Babetown, made up of Danny Ross and Jess Leibowitz, are nowadays still reveling in the indie pop sphere, but have moved on to penning their own material. Their self-titled EP — their first release of original music — is expected to drop on January 19th. One of its tracks is being premiered today on Consequence of Sound, a simmering and blissful cut titled “Swoon”.

“I’m crazy for my baby/ With one look you slay me,” the New York two-piece open, deep in a smitten-driven stupor. “I’m lost now in the mystery/ Of your deep brown eyes.” By the time chorus hits, the duo have reached the point of no return, singing, “I… I… I… Swooooon,” as though they’ve officially fallen into the black hole of love.

Hear it below.

For this installment of Origins, Babetown offer up some context regarding the influences behind “Swoon”. Both members note how Kanye West, Madonna, and The Flaming Lips played a significant role.

Madonna — “I’ll Remember”:

Danny Ross: Pretty soon into tracking, I realized “Swoon” was reminding me of this Madonna song, so we tried to replicate that pulsating groove. Maybe it was because we loved the movie With Honors or because my brother was obsessed with Harvard, but “I Remember” had a big impact on me as a ten-year- old. I probably wouldn’t list Madonna as a musical influence if you asked me, but pop music from childhood has an uncanny way of seeping into the unconscious and sticking with you forever.

Kanye West — “Paranoid”:

DR: I’m not the first person to say that 808s and Heartbreak had a lasting impression. There’s something emotional about those cheap drums and synths — turning the cold mechanics of a laptop into a vehicle of human expression. We really tried to capture the richness of everyday sounds in the digital world.

The Head and The Heart — “Lost In My Mind”:

Jess Leibowitz: When we stumbled upon the “Swoon” melody on an acoustic guitar, we thought it was a funny take on precious, predictable indie-folk. “I’m crazy for my baby” was kind of a joke, and you can hear us laughing in the original voice memo. But “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear also started out as a joke, yet it had something substantial. So that Head and The Heart aesthetic really provided the backbone of our songwriting here.

Selena Gomez — “Fetish”:

DR: I think Selena Gomez is pushing the boundaries of Top 40 music more than any other pop star. Since our Taylor Swift project, we’re really falling in love with pop music and trying to wed modern production with our instinct for ‘60s style songwriting. Everything about this track is slow, moody and evocative, especially those breathy vocals. And it sounds amazing.

The Flaming Lips — “Do You Realize??”:

JL: When Danny added guitars to the “Swoon” bridge, I immediately thought of The Flaming Lips. Yoshimi was a huge record for both of us. They’re another band that uses electronic sounds to create majestic soundscapes we just swoon for — no pun intended.