Stephen Babcock
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Stephen Babcock

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter





Please click link to view - Atwood Magazine

"Said & Done: Stephen Babcock’s Southern Spin on the Possibilities of Love"

A native New Yorker but namesake city transplant, Stephen Babcock describes himself in brief, as a “Northern boy [with a] southern heart.” Though an introduction with such few words, it’s a catchphrase that encapsulates Babcock’s emotional spirit and musical attributes extremely well. No novice to the game of songwriting, Babcock is standing at the end of a path that leads to his second long-play record, Said & Done, out today, Feb. 27, independently.

Amidst present day albums that typically boast 10 to 12 tracks a piece, upon first glance, Said & Done’s eight track length might prompt suspicions of a classic sophomore slump following Babcock’s debut LP, Dreams, Schemes, & Childhood Memories (independent, 2011) –as if Babcock ran out of things to say. Such a knee-jerk reaction is just that however, as, from the very first moments, it’s clear listeners are being given definite quality over quantity –a mindset that heavily floods the record on several levels beyond track list length. Babcock’s newest album visits the tried and true topics of love and heartache and even does so utilizing a band arrangement of entirely familiar instrumental ingredients of guitars, bass, drums and keys, with his instrument (acoustic guitar) being the most ubiquitous. Much like a good love story though, beyond the basic players, there’s plenty of room for unexpected variation and this is where Said & Done’s shines. Babcock’s particular vocal isn’t especially southern in character – calling much more to the likes of Jason Mraz or Matt Nathanson – however, when pairing Babcock’s singer-songwriter foundation with swirls of blues and gospel stylization from things like tastefully bent guitar notes (“Lines of a Love Song”) and carefree organ parts, aspects that stand alone as commonplace, start to stand together as distinct and immediately more appealing.

The roots quality to Said & Done doesn’t throw itself at listeners straight away but, right from vibrant and refreshing opening track, “Someday,” allusions to the American south do peer through the lyrics (From the Mason-Dixon line I’ve seen it all before / But you wan’t be here this time around).
The Americana vibe steadily grows as the album progresses, hitting a hight point in midway track, “Tightrope,” by way of a minor-oriented, pulsing guitar hook, and light percussion that makes the song feel as though it’s coming out of a downtrodden western. The melody mirrors the uneasiness of the title with a leading tone fueled, four note motif and intermittent tambourine shakes bring to mind the jingling of metal spurs on cowboy boots. There’s a sway in stability between the major tonality of the chorus and minor tonality of the verses, which is met by Babcock’s own inner uncertainty, all topped with a slight Johnny Cash reference, like icing on the song’s cake (Georgia please, don’t you see what you’ve done to me? / The tightrope swings and oh, this time now, I won’t walk your line). The steady thump of a kick drum and chugging of Babcock’s guitar in the hook of “Worth” offer listeners a song with an assertive backbone that also makes for an interesting match against its pseudo kiss-off, love/hate theme (“Though you hate my guts I would love to kiss you too / If only you could be just part of my past”). These kinds of melodic vs. lyrical alignments are one of the most pleasant ways that Babcock creates variation where there wouldn’t otherwise be any.

A break from the southern mentality comes with penultimate track, “Cape Cod”, the introduction of which starts from a quiet and sonically filtered place, building with a crescendo before settling into a mildly darker melody. The idea of Massachusetts’ Cape Cod being associated with a slice of mystery and a long overdue rendezvous (“Maybe I will / meet you back, meet you in Cape Cod”) gives Said & Done yet another layer of musical diversity, all while Babcock keeps working with the same four instrument parts – five if you count acoustic and electric guitars separately – not adding in a slew of auxiliary textures. The wrap up in “Wedding Ring” ushers the album’s bluesy, gospel flavor back in, and, while a decent enough track unto itself, absent deeper context it seems like a confusing ending, as it provides neither a (happy) conclusion to the song’s narrative nor a resolution in the melody to cap the record off.

Said & Done, as a complete work, is very much a hybrid of sorts but, Babcock isn’t looking to don half the cowboy hat of the southern singer-songwriter mold. Rather, he’s put forth how he sees his New York born story, through a place and style where he’s grown to find intangible joy. Doing so, without fixating on existing expectations of the roots genre, has allowed this southern-hearted boy to create music of sincere homage over patronizing superficiality. - No Depression

"Premiere: Stephen Babcock’s “Someday” kicks off a bright acoustic-pop record"

Stephen Babcock‘s “Someday” is a smooth acoustic pop track that alerts you his “thing for Southern girls / wrapped in sundresses and pearls.” There’s rarely been a more confident statement of intended audience since John Mayer threw down “Your Body is a Wonderland.”

Babcock has more than a little of Mayer’s early-career suave to his pop songwriting, as he easily lays down a syncopated vocal line over lightly funky guitar and screamin’ organ. But it’s not played off as nerdy cool, like a Mraz tune: this is all eyebrow-raised flirtation and suggestion. (Just listen to those lyrics for more proof.) The results are both familiar and fresh, like a suit that you wear for the first time and automatically feel right in.

“Someday” kicks off Said and Done, where Babcock continues to develop his acoustic-pop milieu. He follows the opening salvo with “Lines of a Love Song,” which is actually a looking-back tune; there’s major wistfulness in the lyrics and a strong dose of melancholy in the verses, but Babcock can’t resist a major-key chorus with a catchy vocal line. Pop songs like those form the majority of Said and Done, with subtle variety throughout: while “Tightrope” and “Kings” continue the full-band alt-pop funkiness, “Worth” punches up the drive a bit by infusing a bit of rock push into the pop tune; “Amy” has some introspective singer/songwriter touches in the guitar line and the lyrics. “Cape Cod” amps up the funky and puts it in a minor key. Without losing his core style, Babcock is able to put distinctive spins on the tracks.

But Babcock’s not just a southern-lovin’, acoustic-toting good ‘ol boy. Babcock’s multi-faceted tenor is a selling point of the record, as the subtle touches in his delivery set the songs apart from other alt-pop tunes. He can easily shift his delivery between evocative and dry, creating tension between verses and chorus–sometimes even between lines. It’s clear that he’s got strong control of what his voice can do, from soaring melodies to wry speak-singing bits. That’s a rare, stand-out skill.

The eight songs of Said and Done show Babcock as an alt-pop singer-songwriter with a strong control of his voice and craft. If you’re looking for some bright, tight, well-penned acoustic pop to slot next to Matt Nathanson, Griffin House, and (yup) John Mayer, you’ll find much to enjoy in Stephen Babcock’s work.

Said and Done drops February 27–pre-order it here. If you’re in NYC, the album release show is that night at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2. - Independent Clauses

"Stephen Babcock Announces New Album, ‘Said & Done’"

While it’s true there’s no shortage of New York City musicians, there’s something uniquely memorable about Stephen Babcock‘s style. Citing influence from John Mayer, the impression of Mayer seeps through Stephen’s work, while still crafting a sound entirely his own. So if you’re like me, and you have a soft spot for vulnerable lyrics and smooth hitting vocals, you’re going to love Babcock’s upcoming release, Said & Done. The album celebrates its debut on Feb 27th at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2. You can check out Babcock’s previous work below, purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.

Read more: - Infectious Magazine

"A scene of hope and support"

Mirk, a jazz, funk and rhythm & blues band, has been playing in the region for five years. It is just one of many other acts, such as such as Stellar Young and Stephen Babcock, looking to break out in a way that Saratoga Springs' Phantogram has been able to do (with a national tour and appearances on national TV).

Read more: - Times Union

"Stephen Babcock"

The song "Colonie" was written when I was 19 years old. My family had moved away from my childhood home town, and went to the town of "Colonie". I was so upset about leaving behind my friends and all the things and memories I loved so much that it drove me to write. The song morphed into this song with multiple meanings. First, the song is about the actual leaving behind my childhood and growing up in this town called Colonie.

The Colonie is the song can also be like a colony itself. The song talks about not wanting to be stuck in a colony also. The colony can be a group of people that always bring you down and make you feel terrible and by leaving behind that colony, makes you happier in the process. It also can be placed in terms of a relationship where you don't want to be stuck with someone because they are a negative thing in your life. The song really allows the listener to take their own interpretation, but it all stems from leaving behind a childhoood and not wanting to be surrounded by people or a place that feel wrong to you. - Round Magazine

"Stephen Babcock brings his tales to Cafe Nola with an evening of acoustic guitar"

For the past few years, singer-songwriter Stephen Babcock has been seemingly burning the candle at both ends -- obtaining his degree in music business from Syracuse University and writing and performing music as often as possible. The 21-year-old New Hartford, N.Y., native graduated in December and is currently touring the country, introducing his mellow Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson-esque tunes to the world. He released his debut, full-length album in 2011, and will play his first show in Frederick this weekend. The Frederick News-Post recently caught up with Babcock in a phone interview from Albany, N.Y., where he was spending time with family, prior to his show at Cafe Nola.
How did you get into playing music? Do you come from a musical family?

I started taking piano lessons at about age 3. My dad is really musical -- he plays piano and saxophone. I played guitar at one point and didn't really love it when I was younger, but then I started playing drums at about age 12 or 13 and really, really loved it. The same teacher who was teaching me drums taught guitar ... and I fell in love with writing songs. I have to give credit to my parents, especially my father; they put me in music early on and if they hadn't I wouldn't be where I am now. The other inspiration I had was John Mayer's (CD) "Room for Squares," which I heard when I was about 11 or 12, and it has been just such a huge influence on me as a writer.

What was it about that specific album and John Mayer's music that you enjoy so much?

The first cassettes I ever got were The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication" and a Britney Spears cassette when I was 7 or 8 years old (laughs). My brother had John Mayer's album and I just remember listening to it when I was like 11 or 12 and thinking it was the first record I had ever heard that the lyrics, songs and song structure was so different. It spoke to me more than anything had before. I love the style of music, the whole guitar part and lyrical aspect of it. And I still love it -- it's still one of the best records I've ever heard. It was his (Mayer's) first major record ... and I just became a John Mayer fanatic after that. I just began digging into who he is ... and that was it for me; I knew I wanted to write songs.

I read on your website that because you started on drums, you like to include a lot of percussive elements in your tunes. Tell me about that.

When I write a song, I try to write (it) like it would sound with a full band. People love the ability to tap their foot. They want to be able to move along with the beat and feel the groove. So I try to make it as percussive as I can; although that doesn't mean I'm slapping my guitar every minute. I like to fill in the void of where there might be empty space with a more rhythmic feel. That's something that I like about my music and I think what other people like about my music.

What do you typically write about?

Relationships -- not always what I'm feeling at the time ... but maybe made-up ideas about people in relationships, sort of like "the ship's coming down and we're both sinking with it." Sometimes they're very happy -- not necessarily all break-up songs. Like I wrote one about when my family moved away from where I grew up, how it just broke my heart and coming to grips with that. The songs that I like the most, I usually write in about a day. Usually when I write a song, I have to have the music first. I respect people who can do lyrics first and I've tried it, but the music helps me get a rhythmic feel. It's like when you do a puzzle, you have to find the edges first before you can get the inside; I have to get the "edges" first before I get the inside.

You told me you studied abroad for about three months last year in England. Did you learn anything from that experience?

Just from the constant playing at a lot of open mics ... I met a lot of nice people and friends over there. I learned how to really interact with a crowd, to really be into it. I learned that people are different all over the place, and every show isn't black and white. You have to tailor it.

How is your most recent album, "Dreams, Schemes and Childhood Memories," different from your first EP, "Arrivals and Departures"?

It's more grown-up in the sense of the concept behind the record, compared to the first EP, which was just "here are some songs that I wrote... ." The beginning (of the album) is kind of about being a kid, then it splits with (the song) "Sunshine" into the later stuff which is kind of darker, like (the song) "Trouble Sleeping." That's about realizing about the good and bad that will come from growing up. When you're a little kid, things seem really different, but when you're older, things start hitting you in a different way. The songs on this album are just structured better. It's more well-written and shows my growth as a writer.

For more about Stephen Babcock, visit - The Fredrick News

"Up-and-Comer Stephen Babcock aspires to be the next best singer-songwriter"

His guitar intros welcome audiences like a familiar mid-‘70s rock song. When his voice kicks in, the tempo changes and an upbeat vibe overtakes the melody. Whether his lyrics flourish with optimism or heartache, Stephen Babcock’s music infuses the listener with an all-encompassing positive feeling.
When Babcock was 3, he began experimenting with different instruments. His young endeavors led him to the drums at age 13. “I just loved the rhythm of drums,” he recalls. ”I love that drums are the backbone to music and help give it a shape to fill out a song.”

In high school he joined a band called Subject to Change. Though fame and fortune weren’t bestowed upon the group, Babcock realized he loved playing live music, and it was a defining moment in his life.

With his passion solidified, it was a Grammy Award-winning artist who pushed him to pursue another form of song-making: the guitar. “I remember when my older brother bought ‘Room for Squares’ by John Mayer,” he says. “It was something that, as soon as I heard it, I couldn’t stop [listening]. I felt so drawn to the songs and particularly the lyrics. John Mayer made me want to become a songwriter because he was able to craft emotional lyrics that weren’t cheesy, and music that felt new but was also exciting. I still look at John Mayer as my biggest inspiration toward songwriting. He has been able to stay relevant for so long, and his music is still a wonderful blend of excellent guitar playing and quality lyrics.”

Taking on the guitar opened a new realm of possibilities for the New Hartford, NY-based artist: He could sing along to the music and share his words with the world. As a teenager, the creative outlet was freeing. “I enjoy the guitar because it allows me to take my ideas and express them melodically, which is something the drums don’t necessarily do,” he affirms.

Yet, the thrill of a beat still shows through in Babcock’s music. Like Colbie Caillat, his songs bring about images of an oasis; they’re beachy and reminiscent of a ukelele. His youthful vocals parallel those of Jason Mraz, as does the cadence of his songs.

“The drums play a big part in this because I find rhythm is the most important part when crafting a song,” Babcock shares. “Without a distinct rhythm, the listener loses interest. My background in drums makes me want to give my songs a percussive element, which I feel benefits the song overall. When listeners can tap their toes, nod their heads, or clap along, it allows them to feel more a part of the song.”

For a handful of years Babcock has been touring the northeast around his home state, and 2011 brought his debut release, “Dreams, Schemes and Childhood Memories.” (Currently, the album is available at for a “name your price” rate, just $1 or more, as a thank you to fans.) This year, he is fresh off a tour in the United Kingdom.

“While in the UK, I was able to play in some small venues, as well as busk and play in Hyde Park,” he tells. “The thing about playing the UK is that they are very open to young and upstart talent. Crowds in the UK come out each night and are interested in what the local music scene has to offer. It was very easy to feel comfortable playing in the UK, which is why I found it so appealing.”

Now that 2013 finds Babcock stateside again, the guitarist will embark on his first southeastern US tour. “When I have been to the South in the past, I could see the interest people had in local bars and music venues,” Babcock explains. “I also saw how people seemed to really care about music of all different genres and styles. I personally feel comfortable in the South. I like the lifestyle, and it is always someplace I aspired to live when I got older. Even my idol, John Mayer, started his career in Georgia after he left school. To me, the South is a comfortable place to explore music that still feels right at home, even if I am from the Northeast.”

Given his similarities to such widely renowned acoustic pop artists, Babcock should face no trouble fitting in regardless of his setting. While his lyrics harp on the same subject—love—as perhaps all artists, the words genuinely remain his own. His blog to fans shares certain inspirations, such as 10 p.m. phone calls and makes one wonder who was on the other line. “Shallow Heart,” despite its buoyant comparability to The Kooks, echoes a lonely soul: “Even though I’ve already won/It’s not the same when you stand there/holding the smoking gun.”

“I think I have grown now that I have left college,” Babcock, who studied at Syracuse University, tells. “I feel that I have entered a new chapter in my life and music is a big part of that. I am ready to really pursue music and make things happen with my music. Still, the growth I have had so far has not satisfied me because I know that there is still a lot of growing to do and still a lot of work ahead of me. I am ready to prove that I am the next best thing out there when it c - Encore

"Indie Space in Kutztown Hosts Indie Singer/Songwriter"

New York-based singer/songwriter Stephen Babcockhas a multi-state tour coming up with dates in January and Februarycovering from New England down to Tennessee with a stop in Kutztown.

His music has been comparedto Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson.

His gig in Kutztown is on Jan. 19 at The Independent Space, 19 E. Main St., Kutztown, at 7 p.m. There is a minimal cover charge. Event is BYOB age 21 and older. Visit

Born and raised in New Hartford, New York, now residing in New York City and studying at Syracuse University, Stephen began playing guitar at the age of 14 after hearing John Mayer’s “Room For Squares”. Since then, he has continued to craft his skills as a singer and songwriter, recording and performing a catalog of original music.

Originally beginning his musical career playing drums, Stephen’s transition to a songwriter has weaved a percussive element into his guitar playing and singing. Either with meticulously finger picked grooves on songs such as Not Worried and Elizabeth, or dynamic rhythm pieces heard in “Fallin” and “Better in Time,” Stephen’s music has proved to satisfy every type of environment. Since beginning humbly as a solo act around Central New York, Stephen has since finely tuned the performance and arrangement of his songs to compliment a full band of Bass, Drums, and Saxophone.

During a show, while giving his band mates a few minutes to rest, Stephen utilizes the middle of the set for solo acoustic performances and medleys. This gives the audience a chance to hear a variety of different original songs, covers, and interpolations that are different and unique to each show.

With influences ranging from: John Mayer, Brett Dennen and Jack Johnson, to Otis Redding, Jamie Cullum, Bon Iver, and Damien Rice, Stephen has finished the recording of his first album, comprised of new songs, and those re-recorded from his first EP “Arrivals & Departures.” - Kutztown Area Patriot

"Singer/Songwriter Stephen Babcock Kicks off Winter Tour"

Born and raised in New Hartford, New York, now residing in New York City and studying at Syracuse University, Stephen began playing guitar at the age of 14 after hearing John Mayer’s “Room For Squares”. Since then, he has continued to craft his skills as a singer and songwriter, recording and performing a catalog of original music.

Tour Dates:

Originally beginning his musical career playing drums, Stephen’s transition to a songwriter has weaved a percussive element into his guitar playing and singing. Either with meticulously finger picked grooves on songs such as Not Worried and Elizabeth, or dynamic rhythm pieces heard in “Fallin” and “Better in Time,” Since beginning humbly as a solo act around Central New York, Stephen has since finely tuned the performance and arrangement of his songs to compliment a full band of Bass, Drums, and Saxophone.


Stephen’s influences range from John Mayer, Brett Dennen and Jack Johnson, to Otis Redding, Jamie Cullum, Bon Iver, and Damien Rice.

Stephen starts off 2013 with gigs in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

His songs combine outstanding lyrics, catchy music and a remarkable voice. The results are sincere, passionate and memorable. - Skope Magazine

"Single Premiere: Seersucker Dress by Stephen Babcock"

"Watching that seersucker dress, as it falls on your body. It sounds rehearsed when you say, you used to love me..."

With the advanced single from his forthcoming Fiction EP, Stephen Babcock weaves a tale of infidelity and romantic entanglement that any metropolitan bar crawler can get behind. With a boozy but energetic 6/8 swing, the band sets the scene; you almost expect to hear the sound of tinkling glasses and hushed overheard conversation.
The mix by Moz Mezrich is clean and warm, capturing the sound of a live band digging in to a song they love, and it allows Stephen Babcock's voice to float above it all, taking us on his journey of interpersonal bitterness and relationship disintegration.
The Fiction EP is set to be released in April, 2018, supported by a slew of shows in a Sofar Sounds northeast tour: - Paste Magazine


Fiction - EP - 2018

Fight I Need - Single - 2019

Devil - Single - 2019

Willow Tree - Single - 2019



Born into a musical family of 4 kids (including a twin brother), Stephen has always been involved with music. After acquiring a love of songwriting from both his father and older brother, Stephen began writing songs as early as 13 years old.

After eight years of writing, touring and perfecting his craft, Stephen began recording what would become his first album, “Said & Done”. The album became a mixture of youth and promise that helped begin Stephen’s career as a singer-songwriter.

Quickly following the release of “Said & Done”, Stephen immediately began touring the United States and broadening his musical horizons out on the road. From countless stages across the country, to various Nashville writer’s rooms, Stephen has left both music fans and industry veterans looking for more. After embracing his Carolina family roots and a love of Americana music, Stephen released the critically acclaimed E.P. “Fiction” in April 2018. Finding his voice (and some new fans along the way), Stephen’s unique blend of Americana, southern rock, and indie folk helped establish him as a PASTe Magazine favorite in 2018.

After spending three years on and off the road (opening shows for Ed Sheeran, The Bundys , Canyon City, and Girl Blue to name a few), hours of writing in New York and Nashville, and some significant media buzz; Stephen released a bundle of new singles in 2019 with more planned for 2020. From simple beginnings to a promising songwriter, Stephen Babcock has become a name to watch in music.

Band Members