New York-based duo Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman started inching toward stardom when they uploaded their first track in 2012. "Treat Me Like Fire" was a flirtatious and assured introduction to their left-of-center, slightly retro form of R&B. Rooted in a rare soul side that had appeared on a compilation issued by the Now-Again and Truth & Soul labels, the latter of which employed Goodman as an audio engineer for Lee Fields and Lady sessions, the song led to support from subcultural gatekeepers like Afropunk and Saint Heron and a major-label deal.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Taken at face value, New York duo Lion Babe (singer-songwriter and performance artist Jillian Hervey and instrumentalist and producer Lucas "Astro Raw" Goodman) aren't doing much to distinguish themselves in a field that has become increasingly overcrowded the past few years. On their full-length debut, the appropriately titled Begin, they offer up pretty straight-forward takes on R&B, electronic, hip-hop, disco, house, and neo-soul with a sensual but bold attitude.
You’ve seen plenty of press photos like Lion Babe’s over the last few years: A glamorous singer, eyes locked on the camera as she shares the frame with an unassuming, narrow-shouldered guy who doesn’t look like he talks very much. Even if you’re only fleetingly familiar with acts like AlunaGeorge or Quadron, you probably have a good sense of what to expect from this kind of singer/producer pairing: posh, slightly left-field R&B with one foot in the past and the other in future. And sure enough, that’s more or less what Lion Babe deliver—except that compared to their similarly styled peers, their sound isn’t actually all that left-field at all.
Lion Babe have managed to carve out a reasonable amount of interest over the last few years without doing too much. Their single “Treat Me Like Fire” received acclaim, giving listeners a taste of the breath of their talents, but it seems that it’s time to show and prove. As a result, they opened the year with the release of their debut album Begin.