The songs on Remember This Feeling, the new EP by Charleston’s Babe Club, have been around for a while. Years, in fact. It’s just that Jenna Desmond and Corey Campbell, the duo behind the band, were a little busy.
“A lot of those songs were written four years ago,” Campbell said. “We loved them and wanted them to have their moment. But we were playing in another band for a long time, and we were really unable to put in the time that we needed to record and release and tour the material.”
The other band was SUSTO, Justin Osborne’s project that became a cult favorite in the last few years. Campbell played guitar and keys, and Desmond played bass in the band, but they left amicably in 2018 to start their own project. They also started dating right before their touring time with SUSTO began, which leads us to the inevitable relationship question: What’s it like being in a band on the road with your significant other?
“There are definitely some moments where it’s overwhelming,” Campbell said with a laugh. “We’ll just be hanging out trying to watch a nature documentary and Jenna will have this idea, like ‘What if we did this? We’ve gotta call our manager,’ and it’s 11 p.m., and I’m just trying to wind down, and I don’t want to talk about business right now.”
Despite the delays, the five songs on Remember This Feeling don’t show any signs of wear and tear. The EP is a melodic feast: Explosive guitars, shimmering keyboards, pulsing basslines and beguiling vocals are found throughout.
The opening track, “Future Talks,” is a catchy sonic piledriver, with Desmond’s vocals soaring over Campbell’s grungy guitars. The surging ballad “Together” kicks off with waves of warm synths and a provocative opening line. “Do you remember/ We were lying in the naked woods,” Desmond sings.
“Automatic Love,” conjures prime-period Blondie, and “Need a Girl” is a funky ode to female friendship. The eerie, sparse ballad “Expectation” closes things out on a melancholy note, shining the spotlight squarely on Desmond’s airy, heartfelt vocals.
Because of the gap between writing and recording the songs, Remember This Feeling has become a jumping-off point for what Babe Club actually sounds like now.
“It’s more of testing the waters and seeing what people are into, and seeing how Babe Club can make its own place in the world,” Campbell said.
Desmond and Campbell intended Remember This Feeling to be an introduction to and a sampler of what Babe Club does, rather than a definitive statement.
“All of the songs sound different,” Desmond said. “For me, personally, being a singer-songwriter, it’s hard to grab people if you don’t have a portfolio.”
Campbell described it as an evolution, not a dramatic shift.
“I won’t say we’ve totally moved on stylistically, but we’ve definitely grown a lot since writing these songs,” he said. “The stuff we’re working on now is more oriented to our tastes currently. But it’s equally satisfying to have something to point to that’s out in the world.”
“We definitely feel relieved to have it out finally,” Desmond added. “Whatever we do next, people are going to be like, ‘Oh, that makes sense.’”
Whatever direction Babe Club goes after this EP, the songs on Remember This Feeling are great examples of the duo’s musical telepathy.
“I think at this point me and Corey have really worked out our communication and the language,” Desmond said.
Campbell added that he sees their pairing as a best-of-both-worlds situation.
“When Jenna’s around, I get to focus on what I’m good at and what I’m passionate about, which means focusing on production and mixing and just the technical side of the music,” he said. “Whereas Jenna is the main songwriter, and I don’t have to worry about lyrics that much. Jenna has a lot of the main imagination, and I pride myself on being able to take those ideas and make them real, but all of those things are necessary together.”