Some metamorphoses barge in like a menacing storm in the middle of winter, while others gently swing the door open like a gust of warm wind in the height of summer. For Cf Watkins, it simply knocked. The Brooklyn based singer-songwriter relinquished most of her North Carolina heritage on her debut album, I Am New, instead submerging herself in the downtempo, ambient production with her razor sharp lyrics. But a fateful introduction to producer Max Hart (The War On Drugs, Melissa Etheridge, Katy Perry), saw Watkins return to her country roots, putting her own metropolitan twist on it.
Her forthcoming sophomore album, Babygirl, though a collaborative effort, puts Watkins front and centre as her own saviour, though she doesn't claim to do it alone. The title track—premiering exclusively on EARMILK today—casts any romantic love interests aside and thanks the only loves in her life that have withstood the tests of time, circumstance, and distance—her childhood friends.
Dancing around a blushing guitar melody, Watkins flaunts her newfound freedom, penning honest lyrics that feel fun to write rather than necessary—"Let's run through these streets in the morning in the rain | I don’t care if it sounds way too cliché." Though the production remains fairly minimal with its intimate drum beats and scattered piano keys, she struts through it like a sleek runway, letting her voice sway in the spotlight before pressing down into the ground with unbridled confidence.
"Babygirl" dresses up like a love song, using its instrumentation as a weapon of emotion to let the story unfold as if it's being read to you at bedtime. But in truth, it's a powerful anthem for the most sacred relationship of all. "It is my coming of age story," Watkins reveals. "I wanted to write a love song for this album and when I thought of the purest love I know, these relationships were the first to come to mind. In romance, I've always been very confused— but love was so clear, magic, and eternal with my best friends, those I called babygirl —who have danced with me in the early morning rain, laughing through the confusion."