Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Babehoven, the nomadic project of Topanga, CA-raised Maya Bon, presents a new single, “A Star,” from her forthcoming EP, Nastavi, Calliope, out July 9th. “A Star” is the brooding and mercurial follow-up to the EP’s lead single “Bad Week.” It sounds like a Julee Cruise song from the credits of a David Lynch film, as Bon’s visceral lyrics crawl over open guitar strums and a muted, percussive beat. Bon elaborates: “‘A Star’ holds a moment of confusion, in essence; that feeling of seeing someone who distinctly reminds you of someone else, someone deeply ingrained in your heart, and the sting that that fleeting connection can leave behind.”
Nastavi, Calliope is the follow-up to Demonstrating Visible Difference of Height (2020) and Yellow Has a Pretty Good Reputation (2021). It was recorded in Bon and collaborator Ryan Albert’s Arlington, VT home studio like an instrumental layer cake, stacking drums, then bass, then guitar and vocals, and finally gilding them with unconventional elements like bowed guitars and the reverb of an 80s karaoke machine. It flexes Bon’s specific and poignant writing, which is bolstered by a lacquered DIY aesthetic.
Nastavi, Calliope is largely motivated by Bon reconnecting with her father in Croatia after being apart for 16 years, immersing herself in her ancestral culture, and the passing of the beloved family dog, Calliope. “‘Nastavi’ means ‘keep going’ in Croatian,” explains Bon. “The very essence of the phrase ‘keep going’ feels so important right now especially; we have all been processing so many transitions, losses, and moments of deep desperation. I landed on ‘nastavi’ as a sort of internal compass that I wanted to share with others, to point to the idea there’s a future apart from this quarantine limbo state.”
Evocative of Arthur Russell’s Love is Overtaking Me or Julia Jacklin’s Crushing, Nastavi, Calliopebalances meticulously between the universality of emotion and the particulars that crack you open, that you carry alone. There is no containing grief, or rendering it sensible, or arranging it neatly, but Nastavi, Calliope lets us gaze into a fragment of it like a broken mirror—a sharp, incisive revelation.