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The music of Brigitte Calls Me Baby is equal parts elegant time warp and up-close exploration of our modern-day neuroses. The Chicago-based band ingeniously spans genres and eras, merging the lavish romanticism of mid-century pop with the frenetic energy and spiky intensity of early millennium indie-rock. Centered on Wes Leavins's hypnotically crooning vocal work, the result is a rare convergence of sophistication and style and unabashed sincerity.
As shown on its debut EP This House Is Made of Corners—a five-song project made with nine-time Grammy Award–winning producer Dave Cobb—Brigitte Calls Me Baby possesses a singular musicality informed by Leavins's eclectic upbringing. Originally from the southeast Texas town of Port Arthur, he grew up listening to Roy Orbison records at his grandparents' house next door, while his parents played him new-wave bands like the Cars and his friends turned him onto Radiohead and the Strokes. At age 13, Leavins took up guitar and began writing songs of his own, quickly discovering his distinct vocal style. "At first I didn't like the way I sang and couldn't really do anything about it, but as I got older I started to appreciate it more," he reveals. "My whole inclination toward music came from being in this small town in Texas with nowhere to go and nothing to do, and wanting to be understood without having to say anything."
Upon moving to Chicago in 2016, Leavins immersed himself in the local music scene and soon linked up with guitarists Jack Fluegel and Trevor Lynch, bassist Devin Wessels, and drummer Jeremy Benshish, who joined him in cofounding Brigitte Calls Me Baby. As the band built up their catalog, Leavins was tapped to take part in recreating a series of Elvis Presley songs for Baz Luhrmann's 2022 biopic Elvis, a turn of events that found him crossing paths with Cobb. "Dave and I hit it off right away and started talking about the music we loved, and when we reconnected later he asked me to send him some of the songs I'd been working on," Leavins recalls. Soon after sharing a batch of demos with Cobb (whose credits include modern classics like Jason Isbell's Southeastern and Sturgill Simpson's Metamodern Sounds in Country Music), Brigitte Calls Me Baby headed to Nashville to record its debut body of work at the legendary RCA Studio A.
Newly signed to ATO Records after a much-buzzed-about set at SXSW 2023, with its full-length debut due out in 2024, Brigitte Calls Me Baby remains intent on striking a balance between refined musicianship and absolute devotion to emotional truth. "In so much music there's a desire to be perceived as someone who's got it all figured out, but I never want to paint a picture that isn't true," says Leavins. "I know that when I was younger I was looking for something to latch onto that I could connect with and feel a part of, so I'd hope that our music could provide that for others. I want to create something that helps people feel more alive, and that will last long after we're gone."
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Micky James naturally developed a taste for the theatrical and aspired to become a performer from a young age. In his music and personal style, James explores a sound and aesthetic that is nostalgic of a bygone era in rock 'n' roll while still maintaining a contemporary pop ambition. With his newly released debut EP Loner Of The Year, the rising rock star is ready to bring his infectious energy and rebellious attitude to the masses.
James has found success on the road over the last couple of years (and pre-pandemic) supporting acts like The Struts and The Regrettes and playing festivals such as Firefly Music Festival, Pleasantville Music Festival, the KISS Cruise, and more. Most recently, James joined Aerosmith's Joe Perry on his U.S. tour as the opening act, for which Rock Revival magazine called his stage presence and style "reminiscent of the likes of David Bowie, Freddie Mercury.”