The last time we heard from North London’s Gold Baby, songwriter Sian Alex was visualising a conversation between her adult and child self on the wonderfully infectious ‘500/1’ (read our review here). Three months on and we find Alex showing her narrative chops again, this time inter-splicing a story of when she got lost in Philadelphia with that of a Mexican fisherman lost at sea.
‘Philadelphia’ is more straightforward than the narrative would have you believe. It’s blissful indie pop is ironically more suited to a carefree drive down an empty motorway, rather than the situation Alex finds herself in, lost on the side of a road in an unfamiliar country. The gleam of the indie pop takes on an even brighter sheen for the chorus, lighthearted keys and wistful guitars combining to make something that’s synonymously anthemic and polished.
All this makes the ending come as a huge surprise. Out of nowhere, the track collapses in on itself leaving Alex alone with just the intimate scrape of her acoustic guitar for company. “Of course you only put enough fuel in the tank for a one way trip”, she sings, chiding herself. The reality of Alex’s situation, stood alone by a Philadelphian highway, hits home. The once glimmering indie pop is now gone without a trace, swallowed up by the remorseless, unforgiving night.