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Add of the Week: Brigitte Calls Me Baby, ‘Impressively Average’

A man crouches on stage singing into a handheld microphone while several musicians play in the background.
Brigitte Calls Me Baby / Instagram

Every Monday, Add of the Week unveils all the new songs going into the 88Nine on-air playlist, with one hand-picked selection put in the spotlight by a member of our music team.

This edition of Add of the Week is weird for a couple reasons. First, there’s only one addition to our playlist this week, thus squashing any of the usual hemming and hawing over which track to pick. Second, while sharing the default selection, I had a moment of musical “jinx buy me a Coke” with 88Nine music director Erin Wolf.

After clicking on “Impressively Average” by Chicago outfit Brigitte Calls Me Baby, I started flipping through my mental rolodex to play the game of “This Band Sounds Like …”

Almost simultaneously, Erin offered “Roy Orbison meets early aughts bands” while I (tactful as ever) opted for “like Elvis Presley and The Strokes had a baby.” Both descriptions should give you a pretty good idea of what you’re in for when you tap that “Listen” button at the top of the page.

The first thing you’ll notice is Wes Leavins’ urgent croon, pulled straight from the school of Orbison begging “pretty woman say you’ll stay with me” or Elvis desperately stating “we can’t go on together with suspicious minds.” Like those two iconic standards, “Impressively Average” has frustration at its core:

Oh, don’t you sit there lookin’ at me while I’m lookin’ at you
Cuz I don’t know what you want me to do
Conversation’s easier said the done
The temptation better if it was gone
What goes around must come around
So when I go I’ll come around again

That feeling is softened somewhat by Leavins’ buttery vocals, which ride atop crisp and crackling instrumentation to create a package that feels like a collision of two ears. It’s classic rock bursting out of a dingy bathroom at CBGB. And, with so very little music currently in the wild from Brigitte Calls Me Baby, it has me very interested in what they’ll send us next.