Steady Holiday

Steady Holiday is an appropriate name for an artist whose music feels like the
soundtrack to your fondest memory. Or your deepest heartbreak. Or the dream sequence from
a David Lynch film. There’s a nostalgia present in Dre Babinski’s songwriting that leaves you
longing for the familiarity of a bygone era - just not one you can necessarily pin down.
After years growing up playing in bands around Los Angeles, Dre recently began writing
and recording for herself - on her own, in secret, developing a body of work about hidden
desire itself. Establishing a sound defined by her featherlight voice floating above sweeping
strings, her 2016 debut Under the Influence led to opening for artists like Mitski, Unknown
Mortal Orchestra and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Whereas the first record took us on a trip through the deeply personal, Dre’s
sophomore album Nobody’s Watching zooms way out. What began as a concept record about
two archetypal crooks developed into an exploration of universal themes like greed, fear and
self-interest; the ugly and troubling edges of human nature. It’s a good time for that.
“I’ve been just as affected by our current politics as anyone, but it only takes one step
back to realize these same figures have been present since the beginning of civilization. This
record is sort of an anthropological way of unpacking all this discomfort for me.”
The narrative is most identifiable on album standout “Who’s Gonna Stop Us”, which
creeps and charms like the characters it describes, as they set about turning trust into money.
“Let’s teach them how to build a pyramid / Tell them if they keep it up, they can reach the top.“
However, judgement is reserved even for them, as hinted in the song’s bridge: “I used to try to
be decent and kind / But time after time I would get eaten alive.”
Dre worked with producer Gus Seyffert (Roger Waters, Beck) to create a sound that
echoes the narrative told on Nobody’s Watching. From the sunny and observant to the dark
and critical, the tone ranges from levity to paranoia through layers of analog synths and chilling
strings played by Dre herself. There are moments of cinematic intensity reminiscent of a James
Bond score, yet the subtle tape hiss and creaking chairs remind us that this is an album made by
people. It is warm and it breathes, in the way the human touch can both soothe and suffocate.
Nobody’s Watching is the natural next step for Dre and Steady Holiday, a project that
builds worlds we wish to escape to or from. It’s an examination of the inner narratives we all
share but keep in the shadows, where the characters may not always be likable, but they do
what they can to survive - like we all do.

Renata Zeiguer

Renata Zeiguer is a Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, the daughter of Argentinean and Philippine immigrants. An NYC native, she grew up playing classical and jazz music, beginning on the violin and the piano at age 6, and listening to her grandmother play ragtime and tango music obsessively on a baby grand during family visits in Buenos Aires.

She began writing music as a kid, with mostly instrumental compositions that evolved from hourslong improvisations while seated at the keys after school. Initially drawn to composers like Prokofiev and Debussy, she grew to like songs that could be sung, falling in love with the great early 20th century American jazz standards, Brazilian tropicália, and the Beatles. She eventually expanded her compositions into lyrical song writing while studying at NYU, where she met long-time collaborator and producer of her upcoming debut, Adam Schatz. Since joining New York’s independent rock scene as an original member of Schatz’s band, Landlady, Renata has sung and played violin and keys on many projects including Ava Luna, Twin Sister, Leapling, Cassandra Jenkins, The Relatives (Ian McLellan Davis), Christopher Burke (Beach Fossils), Quilt, Skaters and Ex-Reyes.

In 2013, Renata self-released an EP entitled Horizons, a ghostly bouquet of “wildflowers growing tall and fast, decorated with percussive rattles, fiddles, bird sounds, harmonies, and passages for light to travel through” (DeliMagazine). Since then, Renata has been performing under the name Cantina. Her music is both wonderfully dreamy and strange – there is an ambiance that exudes a kind of dreamy exotica, a “timeless portal where Les Paul and Mary Ford meet Os Mutantes and the Pixies.” Some may hear a sort of weightless negative space where Joe Meek’s “I Hear a New World” meets Kate Bush. Renata’s debut on Northern Spy will be released later this year.

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