By Taylor McQuaig
Photo by Eric Scharf
Just like Led Zeppelin before them, BB Cream has put out their second album of this year. Their sophomore album Rose Petal Pie is a reminder of BB Cream’s supreme sincerity and, just to add insult to injury, this album will also be the band’s last.
The album is danceable and fun and, in many instances, painfully honest. Rose Petal Pie says it’s okay to love and feel, but tells us not to take ourselves too seriously all at once.
I first heard BB Cream at the K-Home in possibly the sweatiest room I’ve ever been in, and just like the lyrics of Rose Petal Pie’s first track, “Burner”: “I think I knew you [them] from somewhere before.” I felt like I had known them forever, not because their music is something I felt I had heard before but because the way they make music makes you feel a part of it all. But unlike “Burner,” it was love at first sight for me.
BB Cream is something rare, something you don’t come across every day. Greg Conway, a friend and BB Cream super-fan from Peterborough, has commonly travelled from Peterborough to Ottawa to see BB Cream. He makes the four-hour trek because, as he said, “they are their own sound and it’s refreshing. BB Cream isn’t a b-rate local version of another more popular/acclaimed band.”
Even though lead singer and guitarist Alanna Why says that throughout the recording of the album, she constantly wanted it to sound like Dookie, the band truly is like nothing else.
The thoughtful and playful lyricism is the real standout of the album. BB Cream’s sound is unique, but the tone the lyrics set often carry every other aspect of each song. Why said this album was more intentional than the last, and one the best testament to this might be “3AM.”
Why sounds bored, and indifferent at times singing “I didn’t wanna fuck at 3 a.m. so I’m going home unsatisfied again.” There are points in this track where I’m positive I can feel her rolling her eyes, and although her dissatisfaction permeates the track, it also remains the perfect song to dance in your kitchen to, while you make weird midnight snacks.
A few songs later, “Half Right” will make you cry into that weird midnight snack. The song’s production is messy, mirroring the tracks lyrics—the messiness of being in love, or not. The song continues to show the intention of Rose Petal Pie.
I think all of us have been one of the people in the situation Why sings about. The song hurts because it’s relatable. Maybe the thing that makes us love BB Cream so much is because no matter what they’re singing about, we know the feeling in some way or another.
Why said Rose Petal Pie was the album name long before the title track was written. She said the inspiration hit at a gardening workshop where they said you could make rose petal pie.
“Roses are the ultimate symbol of love and BB Cream is all about being a horny loser and they’re girlie and feminine,” said Why. “That’s what I always wanted BB Cream to do is be a super, girly, pop-y feminine band.”
Although a 10-track album left me wanting more, the versatility it shows makes it feel nearly twice as long. Much of this versatility comes from the emotional depth and relatability of so many of the songs, the fun of others, as well as vocals from both Kurt Grunsky and Jon Brownlee, which break apart the album with subtle additions.
Although I’m sad to see BB Cream go their separate ways, Why says she’s excited about this new chapter of her creative career. “I’m ready, I got what I needed from being in BB Cream,” she said. “It’s not sad for me.”
Although some of us might not yet share that sentiment at least we have Rose Petal Pie to keep us company through this breakup. •