Indie Mixtape 20: Babehoven Embraces Stillness On ‘Water’s Here In You’


Babehoven’s music incorporates stillness while gently, encouragingly nudging you forward. The indie-folk duo of songwriters Maya Bon and Ryan Albert creates a space where you can sit for a while, reflecting on how you’ve arrived at your present moment while granting you the time to contemplate where you’re headed next. Water’s Here In You, their latest album, progresses at a leisurely pace, like a lazy river that relaxes you while carrying you to its eventual endpoint. Bon’s soothing vocals intermingle with faint guitars and hushed drums, resembling a single organism with intricate moving parts, however effortlessly simple it all seems at first glance.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on the gorgeous closing track, “Ella’s From Somewhere Else,” a six-minute ode to Bon’s childhood dog and Squirrel Flower’s Ella O’Conner Williams. Through her dual tribute to others, she uncovers realizations about herself: “In the magic, I found wonder / I found fear,” Bon sings. Whether it’s wonder or fear that Babehoven find themselves in, there’s always a universal thread coursing through their music: magic.

Ahead of the record’s release this Friday, Bon sat down with Uproxx to talk about her indecisiveness in getting her first tattoo, her love of knitting and ceramics, and why Cat Stevens’ “Trouble” makes her emotional in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Lush, emotional, honest, human

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

I’d like to be remembered as a songwriter who wore my heart on my sleeve, creating a sense of connection through song.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Each year I come to the table with different songwriting inspos depending on what I’m listening to and feeling. I’ve currently been practicing the song “Lonely, Cold Seed” in preparation for our upcoming May/June tour so I’ll focus on this song in particular because it’s fresh on the mind. This song takes great inspiration from Kristine Leschper’s album The Opening, Or Closing Of A Door. I adore this album and find it very inspiring both in production and lyrical content!

Where did you eat the best meal of your life and what was it?

My family friend Oguri is an incredible cook. I think the best meal I’ve ever had was at his house in 2012: chicken katsu with Japanese curry and finely sliced cabbage. It was perfect!

Tell us about the best concert you’ve ever attended.

Ryan and I saw Tuvan throat singers Chirgilchin and Yuliyana Krivoshapkina at Zebulon in 2019. I still think about it to this day. It was magical.

What song never fails to make you emotional?

“Trouble” by Cat Stevens. I listen to this song when I need to cry. Ever since I was little, I start bawling as soon as the song starts. I think it started after I saw the movie Harold And Maude as a five-year-old (one of my favorite movies to this day). “Trouble” starts playing when they wheel Maude away in a hospital bed. I’m tearing up just thinking about it now.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

“Turning heart inside out” — I was trying to think of a good word to summarize this feeling to answer question number one. Didn’t find one!

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

We slept in someone’s basement that was very dirty and smelly with a bunch of cats running all over us while we slept. Someone kept coming down into the basement to smoke weed throughout the night so we were also all getting hot boxed while we tried to sleep. In the night, we overheated because there was no air circulation. Ryan went to open the window and found that it was stuck. He worked on it for a while and when it finally pried open, it whacked him in the head so hard he had to sit down for a while. Not a good night. To be honest, I’m sure there have been way worse situations but I can’t remember them now thanks to selective memory :~)

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform and what’s the city you hope to perform in for the first time?

We love playing in NYC. We have a super supportive listener base there now. They make us feel cherished! I’d love to perform in London soon. I was born there and lived there until I was 5. I have some family friends there I’d love to play for!

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Life will get better! You won’t be in this much pain forever! Take risks, make changes that are hard, explore!

What’s one of your hidden talents?

Knitting and ceramics! I love to knit and play with clay. I sell some of my pieces.

If you had a million dollars to donate to charity, what cause would you support and why?

Oof, this is a hard question. I’d have to divide the money up and support many causes. For one, I’d give a large chunk of it to help people in Gaza in any way possible (free Palestine, ceasefire now, end the occupation, end the genocide!!!!). I’d hope to support an environmental org that focuses on urban heat island effect to help depave, repurpose brownfields, make rooftop gardens, and paint roofs white. I’d also give a huge chunk of the money to invest in wildlife crossings for migratory species. I’d give a bunch of money to investing in affordable housing and housing for houseless people.

What are your thoughts about AI and the future of music?

I feel confused about what it would mean for AI to be involved in the kind of music we make. To be honest, I’m curious what kind of song AI would make if I described my songwriting process to it.

You are throwing a music festival. Give us the dream lineup of 5 artists that will perform with you and the location it would be held.

Cluster, Cate Le Bon, Laraaji, Kristine Leschper, John Roseboro. I’m picturing less of a music festival and more of a “let’s get together and play music for each other and then maybe all play some songs together if we feel like it” kind of vibe. It would be held in my backyard on a beautiful, summer day. We’d throw some ribs on the grill and we’d all go swimming together after!

Who’s your favorite person to follow on social media?

Ellington Peet, our drummer. He has the best eye for photos/designs and his story posts in particular are funny and unique.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

I signed up for a tattoo with Screamie Weemie with no plan of what I wanted. I was 27 years old and I had wanted a tattoo for a decade but was too indecisive to make a move. I decided to choose a tattoo artist I love and just go and get a flash piece so that the decision making process was less intensive. I ended up finding a flash drawing that looks just like my dog Woody and it felt kismet. I love it so much!

What is your pre-show ritual?

I sing along to Jacobs Vocal Academy’s “5 Minute Vocal Warmup” and then my band and I share four deep breaths together.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

Heath Ledger in The Patriot, lmao.

You have a month off and the resources to take a dream vacation. Where are you going and who is coming with you?

Ryan and I would go to a small town in the mountains of Croatia. We’d stay at a cute inn and explore my ancestral homeland!

What is your biggest fear?

Snakes :0

Water’s Here In You is out 4/26 via Double Double Whammy. Find more information here.