New student band Embarrass Babbitt explores musical identity


Embarrass Babbitt at WMCN’s Biiig Giiig in the basement of DeWitt Wallace Library. Photo courtesy of Phoebe Mol ’20.

Isabel Saavedra-Weis, Staff Writer

The first time Embarrass Babbitt band members Grace Clark ’20, Phoebe Mol ’20 and Lana Berry ’22 jammed together, a rather broken drum set was involved.

The three soon-to-be-bandmates gathered in Mol and Clark’s basement, where they attempted to set up a drum kit that a friend bought off Craigslist. All but one drum had a hole punched through it, and there were missing pieces.

“I was already really nervous to come and play with these two seniors, and then I had to play on that disastrous drum kit,” Berry recalled, laughing.

Despite the broken drums, they first warmed up on The Beatles’ classic “Twist and Shout,” and then introducing an original piece written by Mol and Clark called “Ticket Machine.”

“When Lana played our song with us, she took it to another level. We were so excited. It sounded like a song all of a sudden,” Mol recalled.

Embarrass Babbitt, named after two Northern Minnesota towns that often appear together on road signs, has only been together for three months. Mol plays guitar, Clark is on keys, Berry drums, and both Mol and Clark sing. Two weekends ago, the band played live for an audience for the first time at The Cove, a garage-turned-music venue in Richfield, Minnesota.

“We practiced everyday that whole week [leading up to the performance]. Every free moment we were together, drilling the four song set,” Berry said.

The show went well, but the bandmates are hyper-aware of their newbie status.

“It was really intimidating to play with bands that have played together a lot, have a lot of material and have a reputation,” Clark said. “We’re new to all aspects of it. It’s a steep learning curve.”

But what Embarrass Babbitt might lack in experience, they make up for in ambition. Over the summer, Clark and Mol collaborated on writing a song.

Once the semester started, they met Berry and invited her to play with them. Fast forward to November and Embarrass Babbitt has played two shows in two consecutive weekends, the second being WMCN’s Biiig Giiig concert in the basement of the DeWitt Wallace Library.

After coming off the whirlwind of back-to-back performances, the band members are excited to start focusing on their long-term goals. To start, they want to write some new material and master their instruments. They hope this will help them find their sound.

“We’re still in the early stages, so it’s hard to pin [our genre] down,” Mol said.

As of now, the three musicians aren’t in a hurry to define their genre; they think the feeling their music produces is more important.

“We all have this limitless feeling when we are together and making new stuff,” Berry said. “We’ve never tried to remain within a genre or emulate something specific.”

Although they value the connection between the three of them, the bandmates are hoping to add some new faces and sounds to Embarrass Babbitt. They are searching for horn and bass players who are preferably female-identifying.

“We’re not necessarily restricted to girl [band members], but we really love being a girl band,” Berry said.

If interested in joining Embarrass Babbitt, contact Phoebe Mol at [email protected].

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