Fresh off a SXSW run, LA-based BAUM (Sabrina Teitelbaum) just released her debut EP on Friday. Titled Ungodly, the five-track collection explores everything from body image to growing up, and it’s 100% infectious. Grab a copy ASAP, and get to know a little more about BAUM below; I was able to shoot her over a few questions last week to find out what her creative process is like, what’s coming up on the horizon for her and more, so internet-eavesdrop on all of that right now and get REAL FAMILIAR:
How’s SXSW been? Have you had any time to catch any other shows, or have you just been focused on your own?
SXSW has been amazing!! Yes — I watched Thutmose, Wallows, Kitten, Cloves, Morgan Saint, and a couple others. It’s honestly been a dream.
You’ve got the EP out as of this past Friday – is there a track out of the five ones on it that feels more challenging to perform live than the others? Either from a an emotional aspect or a technical one?
Hm… Vocally there are some that are more challenging than others — higher in my range for example. I love playing them all and I’m just super excited to finally have those songs all together in my set.
Can you give us a timeline for when each track was written and/or the mind state you were in when you sat down to write each one?
Yes! So, the first song I wrote was This Body. I wrote that one morning after being cat called and I was very angry at the time. That was in the summer of 2016. The next one was Effortless, which I wrote as a third party observing a relationship. That one was my way of trying to tell someone else’s story from my perspective. Hot Water was next. I wrote that with my friend Madison Douglas. That song came out of us really quickly because we knew what we wanted to say. She and I have shared similar experiences as queer women working in music, and everything aligned with writing that song. The last two were Dream Girl Takeover and Ungodly. I wrote Dream Girl with Nathan Fertig. That song is really about becoming someone else in order to be more appealing to the person you’re with. It’s about realizing what that person’s “dream girl” would be, and then forcing yourself into that mold. The last song I wrote was Ungodly. I was in my room thinking about a title and thinking about what the project meant to me as a whole. I realized it’s about a very specific time in my life between late high school and early college, when I was behaving in a very particular, self-destructive way, and trying to figure out who I was. The title track is a summary of what the whole project is about — growing up and learning about yourself through emotionally grueling experiences and testing your limits.
What do you hope this collection of songs says about BAUM to listeners?
I hope that listeners can relate to the stories and hear stuff that they go through in these songs.
Are you actively working on any new stuff (EPs, LPs, collabs, etc.) at the moment?
I am working on a second EP!
What does an average day in your life (if such a thing exists for you) typically look like?
Lately I’ve had a lot of writing and recording sessions, so my days look like a lot of meeting new people and writing with them. I wake up pretty early and drink a lot of chocolately coffee drinks. I like to go to shows at night or watch movies — I’ve seen a lot of movies this year. I don’t know, honestly, my schedule is pretty inconsistent.
Obviously inspiration doesn’t always strike at convenient times, but if you were able to control when and where it hit you, what would be your ideal environment to write uninterrupted?
I would want to be in a room with big glass windows and have a view of L.A. Haha, that sounds ridiculous, but also would be very inspiring.
Being that you’re from New York and are now based in LA, do you find that your physical surroundings (in terms of landscape, weather, etc.) tend to influence your creative process at all?
Definitely. I have a very different mindset when I’m in LA versus New York. I’m usually a lot more anxious and up tight when I’m in New York — I tend to revert back to old habits. I’m calmer and more inspired when I’m in LA.
Also, which parts of the stereotypical LA Kool-Aid do you feel like you’ve totally succumbed to as a born and bred East Coaster? And on the flip side of that, what’s something you just can’t get into about life in LA?
I love that bougie Silverlake aesthetic of little cactus plants and candles. That one really got me. On the flip side, I think I’m more aggressive than west coast people — I can be blunt.
What’s the next trip you’ve got planned post-Austin? Or will you be hunkered down at home for a while?
I’m working on a couple things right now, so I’ll probably be in LA for a while.
And besides potential travel, what are you looking forward to over the next couple of months // spring + summer + beyond?
I’m hoping to play a bunch of shows this summer and I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also going to be recording a lot in the next couple months.
Finally, what’s a good, widely-applicable piece of advice to live by, in your opinion?
Eat whatever the fuck you want and don’t feel guilty about it.
Photo by Shervin Lainez