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Baby Queen - Quarter Life Crisis (Album Review)

Thursday, 16 November 2023 Written by Adam England

An album about existential anxiety has no right to be this enjoyable. But in following up her 2021 mixtape ‘The Yearbook’, Baby Queen’s debut LP manages to neatly merge fun with a lurking sense of dread. 

The London-based, South African singer – real name Arabella Latham – taps into familiar feelings and spins them into addictive indie-pop tracks. It’s not an easy time to be in your mid-20s, on the Gen Z/Millennial cusp, with the cost-of-living crisis, 13 years of Tory government, the aftermath of Brexit and a pandemic hanging over you.

“My life’s in total disarray / I can’t seem to find the pieces / To put it back together again,” Latham drawls on the beautifully titled I Can’t Get My Shit Together, before she jumps into a Girli-esque staccato chorus: “I can’t get my shit together / I take pills, I don’t get better”.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. On Kid Genius, Latham pokes fun at the need to create an image on social media, and the way young people have taken to writing exclusively in lower case, while Dream Girl has a really uplifting avant-pop sound.

In truth, Baby Queen is at her best when she’s upbeat. ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ risks stagnating during slower, more atmospheric tracks such as Grow Up and Die Alone later on in the album, and the first half is probably the stronger. 

But the LP flows well as a cohesive unit, and while it differs from her previous work in some ways it’s a solid continuation of Latham’s sound. If this is what a quarter-life crisis sounds like, count us in. 

Baby Queen Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue November 21 2023 - DUBLIN Academy

Compare & Buy Baby Queen Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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