Take three young musicians, each with different musical influences, each of whom hailed from different parts of the province. Somehow, they were brought together while still in high school.
No matter where they have come from however, Moncton folk-inspired trio Les Hay Babies are confidently moving forward into the great unknown. And they couldn’t be happier about it.
Formed just 13 months ago, the group has quickly built a name for themselves in New Brunswick and have in fact already been overseas to perform on three different occasions. Les Hay Babies released their debut EP Folio this past July and earlier in the year made a huge impression upon unsuspecting audiences during April’s East Coast Music Awards.
Along with their pals in the BackYard Devils and Danger Cat, Les Hay Babies are gearing up for a New Year’s Eve performance at the Igloo, located at 300 Elmwood Dr., Moncton. Doors for the show open at 9 p.m.
Comprised of Vivianne Roy, Katrine Noel and Julie Aube, the melodies created by their voices as well as the relatively simple instrumentation of guitar, banjo and ukulele is truly something to behold.
The group’s profile was raised by leaps and bounds during the aforementioned East Coast Music Awards, held in Moncton. After having a rather underwhelming showcase opportunity, the trio set about garnering themselves a captive audience in every sense of the word. The trio rode the elevators of the Delta Beauséjour over the course of three days, performing for whoever happened to be along for the ride.
Although their exposure to potential fans might have been brief at any given moment, the impression that they left was long-lasting.
‘I’m not quite sure who came up with the elevator idea,’ Hay Babies member Julie Aube begins. ‘I know that we were a little bummed out about our showcase but as to who specifically said ‘Why not play for the people in the elevator?’ I’m not quite sure. It wasn’t something that we had meticulously planned. It was an impulsive decision that we didn’t initially think was even that big of a deal that ultimately worked out for the best.’ Buoyed by the buzz of their ECMA appearances, Les Hay Babies decamped to a cottage in Alma with Les Paiens’ member Marc (Chops) Arsenault to record what would become their debut EP.
It was recorded over the course of one weekend, and Aube says it was both convenient and necessary to do it so quickly. Ultimately, not wanting to labour over minor details was the driving force behind the somewhat hurried sessions.
‘We had been so busy playing shows, we realized that we didn’t necessarily have any product to give people something to remember us by,’ she explains. ‘We went to Alma and recorded Folio over the course of a weekend. We had limited resources going into it but ultimately, we wanted to make the record live off the floor in a comfortable setting and just get completely immersed in it. Looking back, it was the best way we could have made the EP.’ It turns out the group’s hunch to get some music in the hands of fans was a wise decision. In the last five months, the group sold out of their initial run of 1,000 CDs and is now selling their way through their second pressing.
If the girls are reeling from their sudden ascent to popularity in New Brunswick and beyond, they are hiding the stress rather well. Aube shares that because they have been so busy playing live, they haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as they would like to get new songs written. She anticipates the group holing up for a weekend or two in January so that they can finally piece together a series of song fragments that just haven’t found their way to completion.
‘We are hoping to undertake a series of residencies over the winter to keep playing live but we really want to get writing songs for a new record,’ Aube says. ‘I think the best case scenario is that we rent a cottage for a week to help isolate ourselves and just get to finish these new songs that we have been working on.’
Article published in the December 28, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript