FADER Premieres Baby Alpaca 'Sea of Dreams'
When trying to identify the music made by NYC band Baby Alpaca, it's perhaps easier to try and figure out what the music is NOT. Judging by the music on the band's first proper EP, it's easy to say that this is definitely not your standard indie rock fare: an autoharp is involved, as well as both live and programmed beats and a smattering of guitars. The music eschews any musical tropes typically assigned to wispy bedroom electronica, beardy folk music, or the new wave of alternative R&B, but it could perhaps exist as a distant cousin to all of those things. Buoyed aloft by the winsome vocals of front man Chris Kittrell and shaped by the guitar styling of Zach McMillan, Baby Alpaca make music that is both romantic, vaguely tropical, and sufficiently futuristic-music that seems born of a million dramatic road trips that might provide a suitable soundtrack for a million more.
The four songs on the Baby Alpaca EP make for a striking, remarkably blissed-out statement of intent. The EP's first single, "Sea of Dreams" (whose Dada-esque video premiered earlier this year via NPR.org) is as fitting an introduction as any band could hope to have: all echo-chamber vocals that seem to be haunted by reverby guitar lines and gently-played piano notes that drift through the song like ghosts. Tracks like "Wild Child" and "On The Roam" evoke a palpable sense of modern restlessness, something that permeates all of Baby Alpaca's music. It's a feeling that Kittrell attributes to his own meandering youth-a time spent experimenting, studying, travelling, and trying to locate his own creative voice.
"A lot of this music is about running way," explains Kittrell, "I don't mean that in a escapist kind of way, but more in terms of exploration. So much of my life has been about running away from tradition and traditional ways of thinking, which seeps into the music we make together. It's about discovery. It's not so much about running away from something bad, but rather running towards something really beautiful."