Feature: Nick & June Delve into Their Dreamy, Intimate, & Raw ‘Beach Baby, Baby’

Nick & June © Luka Popp
Nick & June © Luka Popp
German indie duo Nick & June dive into their dreamy new EP ‘Beach Baby, Baby,’ a beautifully seductive, soul-stirring record of intimate reflections and raw reckonings.
for fans of Death Cab for Cutie, The xx, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine
Stream: “Anything But Time” – Nick & June




To listen to any Nick & June record is a visceral experience.

For over ten years now, the German duo have been expertly capturing the intimate on record, expressing their innermost selves in songs as powerful as they are pure. From singing about loving, losing, and living (“Annie Hall”), to declaring – in achingly hushed, heavy tones – that “home is where the heart hurts,” Nick & June’s songs are unabridged, unfiltered, and unapologetically human.

And while we thought we knew them at their best, the duo’s latest EP is their most tender and moving offering yet: A seductively soul-stirring record of intimate reflections and raw reckonings, Beach Baby, Baby is beautifully dreamy, whimsical, and bittersweet: A cinematic lo-fi world of indie warmth and cool, cathartic wonder.

Beach Baby, Baby - Nick & June
Beach Baby, Baby – Nick & June
Rock Cafés ask out to stray
Beside the door waits a rainy day
Invitations for a spin
Silver and gold
Huckleberry Finn, borrow me a thought
How come I’m still here when you are far apart?
Silver and gold, are mine to hold
Ah, anything but time keeps me waiting
Ah, anything but time keeps me waiting
– “Anything But Time,” Nick & June

Released May 12, 2023 via Monty People, Beach Baby, Baby is a stunning return from one of Germany’s most enchanting musical duos. Landing somewhere halfway between the indie folk, indie rock, and indie pop worlds, Nuremberg’s Nick & June demand our undivided attention through music that aches with a sweetly subtle, seductive intensity.

Arriving over six long years after 2017’s acclaimed sophomore album My November My, the seven-track Beach Baby, Baby finds the musical pair of Nick Wolf and Suzie-Lou Kraft refreshed, composed, and ready to once again take the world by storm, one pair of ears at a time.

Nick & June © Luka Popp
Nick & June © Luka Popp



Had it all been up to them, they would have been “back” a lot sooner. Alas, a global pandemic got in the way.

“We just came out of a creative break and wanted to go on tour again,” Nick Wolf recalls, setting the scene. “We had a long tour ahead of us, and then the pandemic came. Of course we rarely got to see each other – we live in different cities. Actually we wanted to think of an album, but then we realized that with the uncertainty of COVID, we would rather do something else. We just wanted to write and record, without much pressure. That felt better back then. Then little by little the songs of the EP came together, these little, sometimes bizarre, sometimes mysterious, sometimes funny, sometimes melancholic stories. We had a lot of fun working on the EP.”

“I’m not sure if there was really a “vision” in the beginning for it,” Suzie-Lou Kraft adds. “The songs were mostly created during the lockdown, here we have dealt a lot with old independent films and novellas. With these thoughts and feelings we then wrote the songs and they have developed well into one big whole. Beach Baby, Baby is clearly different from our other works in terms of sound aesthetics and songwriting. The collaboration with other musicians and producers has of course influenced this, after some years with no releases it reflects the further development of the band.”

For Kraft, there’s little comparison between Nick & June’s past and present works. “The EP captures the collaboration between Nick and me,” she says. “The sound is more raw, but also more intimate.”

“Of course, our world and the world around us has totally turned,” Wolf says. “We are in different life situations. Every record has its own story, its own biography. For me it will always remain the record for which Suzie constantly sent me GarageBand demos in the middle of the night,” he chuckles. “For me it will also always remain the record that I really enjoyed working on.”

Wolf founded Nick & June as a solo project over ten years ago. Since then, the band has morphed into the duo it is today, and he credits Kraft for transforming their artistry for the better. “I had written the earlier records mostly by myself,” he explains. “Since Suzie joined, she has completely changed Nick & June in every way. I think it was extremely important for Nick & June to constantly evolve, not to repeat ourselves. We challenge and encourage each other in songwriting. I love this.”

Nick & June © Adelina Millaku
Nick & June © Adelina Millaku



The title Beach Baby, Baby comes from the very first lines in the EP’s minute-long intro, “Bonjour Tristesse” – which translates to “hello, sadness,” for those so inclined. “The first line of the song ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ contains this exclamation,” Wolf notes. “I don’t know why exactly, but somehow there is so much in it that I like and that stands for the stories of the EP. And the second “baby” is essential, of course,” he smiles.

Both members agree that the name felt right immediately; that it sets a tone for the record’s sense of simultaneous lightness and depth; that it’s at once familiar and distant, atmospheric and grounded – just like them and their music.

“Bonjour Tristesse” flows right into the record’s radiant first single “Anything But Time,” released nearly a year prior to the EP’s release. A gorgeous, glistening pop tune full of sweet, hazy melancholy, the track, written in 2019 by Kraft, proved to be all-too prophetic.

“[It’s] as if I had a hunch of what was coming,” she reflects. “I listened to a lot of SoKo and after all the rehearsals and tour preps, we had planned our big comeback tour for March 2020. I sat down with my old Casio keyboard and wanted to give myself a break from the ‘serious’ music making and the stresses of the upcoming tour. The sound of the small, quirky Casio immediately put me in a mood and I just goofed around a bit. The beat from the session before was still playing, so I started playing over that and just let my favorite chord do the major C magic. The song was written really fast in a very stream-of-consciousness way.”

I will bury all your sins
Cause mine keeping me awake
Invitations for a dance
How come I’m still here, I’ve had my chance
Ah, anything but time keeps me waiting
Ah, anything but time keeps me waiting
I need time… I need time
Bodies, bodies, bodies in souvenir shop t shirts
You’ve painted my face on yours
Bodies, bodies, bodies in souvenir shop t shirts
You really nailed the role
Bodies, bodies, bodies in souvenir shop t shirts
An empire lifts the cup
– “Anything But Time,” Nick & June




Further highlights include the subdued, moody, and poetic alternative lullaby “Manic Pixie Dream Girl,” the beautifully bittersweet “Lip Sync to Love Songs,” and the hushed, hypnotic “Hugh Grant & His Consequence” – an indie sleeper hit in the making, if ever there was one.

The final single taken off the EP, “Hugh Grant & His Consequence” is a raw, cinematic upheaval of the heart spilled out in hauntingly emotive alternative sound. Nick & June shine a warm light through the haze, ultimately coming to an emotional climax in their track’s captivating, cathartic chorus.

Can you remember when
we had this secret party in my cage?
This is not an adult’s advice:
‘Give me your worst fake name’
This is water, this is peace.
Meet me in my kitchen brain
We’re not a nuanced portrait,
just a sketch for holidays
My mental health is a campaign
of an ’80s documentary
But you don’t need an umbrella
to know where the rain is coming from
This time we break promises
This time we spell emptiness
This time when we’re lost and dance
With Hugh Grant and his consequence
This time we sell loneliness
We’ve been made, I’d never guess
This time when we’re lost and dance
With Hugh Grant and his consequence

Cinematic and soul-stirring, “Hugh Grant & His Consequence” holds nothing back in reckoning with oneself and one’s world. It’s poetic, unfiltered, and uncompromisingly graceful through and through. If ever we were to dub a song an “indie anthem,” this song is the benchmark – capturing the emotion, the energy, and the intimacy we look for from our favorite music.

This music hurts in all the right ways.




“My favorite track at the moment is ‘Lip Sync to Love Songs,’ Wolf says on the topic of personal highlights. “I love the aesthetic and the arrangement. I really like the outro of ‘Hugh Grant & His Consequence’ with its anthemic horns and its line, ‘I stare at us from 10 degrees, we sell our NY mysteries.‘”

His favorite lyric? “That probably changes all the time,” he laughs. “A line just popped into my head that we were asked about by a journalist, he said it’s one of the best “fuck you” lines for him: ‘I’d rather be a fallen leave than to brag as a blossom tree in your garden.‘ I like it too.”

Kraft’s favorite is a little more concrete. “For me, that would clearly be ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ with the line, ‘She was about 15 years or maybe just obsessed to age.'”

Beach Baby, Baby is also home to two spectacular covers: Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and David Bowie’s “Starman.” Both add to the complexity and the character of this captivating duo, and make their new EP the repeat listens we’re sure to give it.

Nick and June © Luka Popp
Nick and June © Luka Popp



For Nick & June, it’s just good to be back in action after so long – and with seven breathtaking new songs, no less!

The pair have their sights set on the now; for them, this EP stands as a testament to their bond, their connection, and the special, profoundly personal, intimate art they create together.

“It’s always nice when people respond to us or write that our songs touch them, move them and inspire something in them,” Nick & June share. “We definitely grew in the making of it. We had an aesthetic idea and tried to translate it into lyrics, sound and structure. It should be a work that always stands for itself and should sound as if it could have been created in 1969, 1994 or 2027. And it always turns out: everything takes its time. “

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Nick & June’s Beach Baby, Baby EP with Atwood Magazine as Nick Wolf  and Suzie-Lou Kraft take us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their latest release!

— —

:: stream/purchase Beach Baby, Baby here ::
:: connect with Nick & June here ::
Stream: ‘Beach Baby, Baby’ – Nick & June



:: Inside Beach Baby, Baby ::

Beach Baby, Baby - Nick & June

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Bonjour Tristesse

Nick: “Bonjour Tristesse” is inspired by the book of the same name. I (Nick) read the book almost every year sometime in the summer – not because I think it’s so extremely good, I just have fond youth memories of it – and always wanted to use that as a starting point. Then I came across this old newspaper article by a 1923 beauty queen who killed her husband, represented herself in court and was acquitted. On the EP is only the introduction of the song, the complete song will be on our next album.



Anything But Time

Suzie-Lou: “Anything But Time” was written shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. The song was oddly prophetic, as if I had a hunch of what was coming. I listened to a lot of SoKo and after all the rehearsals and tour preps, we had planned our big comeback tour for March 2020. I sat down with my old Casio keyboard and wanted to give myself a break from the “serious” music making and the stresses of the upcoming tour. The sound of the small, quirky Casio immediately put me in a mood and I just goofed around a bit. The beat from the session before was still playing, so I started playing over that and just let my favorite chord do the major C magic. The song was written really fast in a very stream-of-consciousness way.



Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Suzie-Lou: When I was a kid I used to play this game where one person starts a story, writes a page, and the other person keeps writing and so on – it was almost like that here. That’s actually the first song that we wrote together for the EP. We came up with an idea together and made a story out of it. We like to tell these tiny, secret and forgotten stories of quirky, mysterious or strange people. These stories sometimes tell more about humanity than the obvious ones. The song tells just such a story of another “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”, who is way too smart to be in the spotlight, but in the end has the last laugh on her side.



Can’t Help Falling in Love

Suzie-Lou: Elvis cover was more or less a coincidence. Actually we only wanted to cover one song, but then Nick played this song in this wrong 4/4 time and it immediately sounded familiar. We immediately had this dark, gloomy melancholy in our heads that felt cinematic.



Lip Sync to Love Songs

Nick: Suzie wrote the arrangement to the song practically completely in one night – including brass lines, chimes, umpteen synths, guitars and drum machines. On the final recording there are an insane amount of tracks recorded on an iPhone. The vocals were recorded first take and were supposed to be just a guideline. But it captured the atmosphere just right though. The song is like the struggle with the inner child, the feeling of having your heart stolen away from you. But we want to give comfort. Bleak comfort in the love song gutter, so to speak.



Hugh Grant & His Consequence

Nick: When “Hugh Grant & His Consequence” was written, we had just finished reading some David Foster Wallace stuff, including his essay “This Is Water”. Also, the movie “Call Me by Your Name” plays a role. We love to play this game with different points of contact – especially if they are perhaps a little misleading at first. We wanted to tell a story and a song between a “coming of age” mood of departure and melancholy. The poetic persona writes a letter to a former (or maybe parallel) version to him/herself and that melancholy returns eternally after all. If you look, you’ll find a few allusions, including, of course, the obvious one to Hugh Grant. We want to crank up associations. How the listener interprets all this and what happens in the inner cinema, it’s up to you.



Starman

Nick: Suzie always wanted to do a Bowie cover. She is a huge Bowie fan. She just sent me a short recording of the chorus at some point – just voice and some synths. I immediately said “let’s do it“. The story of him, the „Starman”, fits beautifully into the EP and we immediately had the idea of how to pack our sound and aesthetic into the arrangement.

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:: stream/purchase Beach Baby, Baby here ::
:: connect with Nick & June here ::



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Beach Baby, Baby - Nick & June

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? © Luka Popp

:: Stream Nick & June ::



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