Shoplifting with Brigitte Calls Me Baby

Rough Trade Records

March 23rd, 2024


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Singer and frontman Wes Leavins joins us to chat about Danzig and a chance encounter with Tears for Fears’ Curt Smith.

Chicago’s Brigitte Calls Me Baby is inspired by greats such as Elvis and Roy Orbison as well as more contemporary greats such as Radiohead and The Strokes. The result is striking. The music of Brigitte Calls Me Baby is equal parts elegant time warp and up-close exploration of our modern-day neuroses. Then band is intent on striking a balance between refined musicianship and absolute devotion to emotional truth.

Brigitte Calls Me Baby – This House is Made of Corners

Rough Trade Exclusive 12″+ on blue/pink swirl vinyl with signed postcard.

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We caught up with Brigitte Calls Me Baby’s Wes Leavins at our NYC store for our newest session of Shoplifting. An invitation to roam the racks in pursuit of the recorded material which has most inspired and shaped their sound today. Be sure to check out their debut EP This House is Made of Corners out now via ATO Records.


The Misfits – Static Age 

It’s their first album, although I don’t think it came out in a linear timeline. I think the songs came out as singles and then this was released in the 90s, but all these songs are from the late 70s. I’m from a very small town in Texas, so, you know, the one guy who liked The Misfits showed me The Misfits when I was in high school. This was the album that he showed me and it’s just very nostalgic to me and not like a, you know, when you think nostalgia, you kind of think more moody or melancholy or something, but this just reminds me of being a teenager and like falling in love with energetic, aggressive, two-minute songs. Also I think Danzig had a very unique voice, which when I started singing, made me kind of identify with him because he had like a kind of a classic voice, you know and pairing a classic voice with punk doesn’t sound like it works on paper, but then you hear it and it’s like, oh, this definitely works.

Tears For Fears – The Tipping Point

I saw them live and heard most of these songs for the first time live, which I think is a different experience than just hearing the recording and it’s exciting that here’s a band who’s been around for, you know, 40 something years and they’re still writing songs that I feel like could have been on Songs From The Big Chair. It’s also nice to hear them starting to think about their mortality as they’re getting older. I guess they kind of always have but, now that they’re in their 60s, it’s really effective. There’s some really sad shit on here too. I think Roland Orzabal recently lost his wife and a lot of this was about that. When I was in Los Angeles I ran into Curt Smith at a restaurant, it was a strange encounter because I was with my brother and my wife and we were going to eat and the place that we initially had gone to was closed, so we went to this other place and we had to hurry because they were about to close and I was wearing a Tears for Fears shirt and sitting right across from me is Curt. I felt awkward about it, like it kind of looks like I followed him and at the end he just came up and said, “hey, I like your shirt,” and I said, “hey, I like your band.” It was a really cool encounter.  

The 1975 – The 1975

I didn’t get it this album when it first came out, it didn’t resonate with me, and it took a few years for it to. It was initially too poppy for me. But then, as I started to appreciate pop more, I kind of realized how brilliant the songs are. Musically speaking, I don’t know who produces their records, but it’s like the perfect combination of the hookiest hooks you can imagine and just interesting in instrumentation. I feel like they’re a band who, even though they’ve got obviously an extremely solid fan base, I think they’ll last and be one of the bands from the modern age that are still talked about  in 50 years. 

The Strokes – Comedown Machine

This is another one that I think is starting to get more appreciation, but was under-appreciated for a while. It’s The Strokes doing something different. The first two albums had a very solid sound and then when they did this it had everything that Julian Casablancas does so well but also the band experimenting with synths. I always like to hear bands who have a very strong sound, as they do on their first few albums, do something different. I hope more people start to appreciate this album because it’s one of their best. I think their debut will always be one of the best.  

T Rex – Electric Warrior

When bands are asked what music they really dig this one comes up a lot, and for good reason. It’s everything that was great about 50s rock n roll mixed with glam and psychedelic and it doesn’t feel forced. It feels totally natural, organic, real and you can just put it on and top to bottom not a bad song. This is my go to road trip album because it’s high energy to keep you awake and you know, it’s just good rock’n’roll. 

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