On any given day, one could be the lion while the other is the babe, however, Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman, collectively known as Lion Babe, have not so quietly been forming into one of the most captivating music duos in the country. Monday night they kicked off their 2018 tour at Harlow’s Restaurant and Nightclub in Sacramento, on the same week they will be taking their show to the Coachella Music and Arts Festival for the first time.
Empowered by Goodman’s lush and inescapable neo-soul productions, Hervey takes on each song with an enchanting tone of voice that taps into a listener’s funky soul—emancipating a world of its own throughout their live show and on every record since their 2012 debut. In person, Hervey controls the crowd with a fiery mane that follows her body’s every spontaneous move, while the flowers in her hair, to the inanimate butterflies flying around her mic stand, breathe as much life into the show as the lyrics breathe into Lion Babe’s music.
Finding themselves ready for the next chapter of their career, Hervey and Goodman wholeheartedly share the excitement that comes with the latest version of Lion Babe.
“‘Treat Me Like Fire’ happened and the next thing you know we’re in the industry and trying to keep up with ourselves and create content and all this stuff,” said Hervey. “But I think now we have enough music under our belt and understanding and time to really make all the things and have the proper time to do those things, because it’s kind of like, we love playing a show and just vibing and rocking out, but like, you know—little moments—we’d love to be able to really work with that and make it into something dynamic.”
Rooted in the concrete jungle of New York City, the “little moments” Hervey cultivates are product of an internal appreciation for the spontaneous environment she was raised in.
“New York is so thrown at you you just have to kind of roll with the punches and that kind of dynamic was definitely cultivated in school and it works and it helps me,” said Hervey. “I don’t freak out cause that’s just the way life is, you know? You have your expectations, you try your hardest, and then, also, whatever you make, it never turns out where you think it’s going to be.”
Similarly, Goodman’s approach to his production has evolved just as much as his own taste and study of music history. While he grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and Rage Against The Machine, the ultimate sound he has birthed into Lion Babe comes from his study of hip-hop producers, such as Madlib, Q-Tip, and J Dilla.
“For me, the whole thing was just like how those guys made music, like, ‘Oh they’re just sampling,’ but I didn’t even know anything about sampling,” said Goodman. “It’s just like that whole thing of like, ‘Well do they play all the stuff?’ Because I’m coming from a guitar background where you gotta learn all your parts and stuff, and then you’re like, ‘Oh, no, they just loop that and then it’s a vibe,’ and then even opening your mind up to that and being like, ‘Oh, it’s not about whether you play it or not, or how many notes you hit, it’s just about, are people feeling it?’”
While Lion Babe gets ready to welcome us further into their world, hits like “Rockets,” “Honey Dew,” and their latest single “The Wave,” start to paint a sonic picture of what fans should expect on their next album, which is expected to be released this summer. Those fortunate enough to see the duo live, will understand how each moment, sound, and movement of the show is an invitation to the world of Lion Babe.
“I think it’s exciting to see this new music have a new live experience as well, because I think it deserves it,” said Hervey. “We’re just in a really good place. We feel really good about what we’re making and what we’re releasing and that really comes through also. I think it’s really just about, you know, giving everyone a spectacle, a performance, but also leaving everyone feeling really happy. The show is so fun, we’ve been rehearsing and it’s just like, it feels good, like everyone in it feels good so I just love that aspect of it because that’s always the main thing we want to translate on stage, it’s just like our real energy. We want to uplift people and that’s the goal.”
For more information and to stay updated on all things Lion Babe, visit LionBabe.com
Photos by Cesar Alexander.