Review – “Bitter Melon” – Baby Cages

reviewed by Laura Stanley

Baby Cages – Halloway Jones & friends including Dorothea Paas and podcasting extraordinaire Katie Jensen – created a batch of drowsy pop songs for Bitter Melon. These brief tracks (each 2-3 minutes) are weighty with feelings as Jones navigates the confusing and often times exhausting ups and downs of relationships.

The album starts off on a sweaty and dingy dance floor. “All U Want” sways lethargically and hypnotically as Jones shrugs off somebody: “I don’t need you to hold me, I am just fine,” she sings. A later track “Gold” is also murky, this time with lies, and the desire to leave a relationship has returned – “slide me off the hook and back into myself again.”

Highlight, “Flowers,” in contrast, is a brighter sounding track. A cleaner guitar riff and accompanying twinkling keys are like the vibrant pattern of the pants Jones sings about. This track moves confidently through a relationship’s death and Jones’ subsequent rebirth. Another standout track, “Polly,” is groggy with lust. Jones’ perspective is obstructed by her heart eyes for the majority of the song until she is jolted, just for a moment, out of her reverie: “I’m not really what she needs / our time is fleeting.”

For an extra treat: Baby Cages have paired each track with an accompanying video and put them all together for a 15 minute trip. These videos – which were created by casts and crews exclusively comprised of women, non-binary people, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities – have, fittingly, a lot of dancing and shy glances and psychedelic visuals and I went to summer camp with somebody in one of them. Wild! Check it out below.

Top Tracks: “Flowers”; “Polly”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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