ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Country from outer space


Fresh off the plane from their most recent European tour, Les Hay Babies from Moncton are captivating the indie folk scenes from here to Switzerland.

The girls first met at a battle-of-the-bands style event put on by the French high schools. They had similar musical abilities and tastes and they all happened to be living in the Hub City. The Acadian three-piece decided to combine their talents to form Les Hay Babies.

A weekend in a little cottage in Alma, N.B. was all it took for Les Hay Babies to record their first bilingual EP Folio.

“Most of the tunes were actually songs we wrote ourselves before being a band,” said Julie Aube, who plays banjo in the band. “We didn’t think it would get us this far. “

The incremental success of Folio was turning heads in the music business. Les Hay Babies won the 2013 “Francouvertes” festival in Montreal, which awards the winner a $10,000 prize. The girls were also named Best New Artist of the Year.

Their festival victory was enough for Montreal-based Simone Records to take notice of the folk trio. Coming up this month, Les Hay Babies will release their first full-length album, Mon Homesick Heart.  This time the record will feature a full band as opposed to just the usual three piece.

“I’d say this one is a real country album,” said Aube. “Not folk … kind of more like country from outer space.”

The new album will once again feature songs written in French and English. Although the band’s fan base is primarily français, the girls hope to one day release an album totally in English.

A few years back, the band set up a unique show at the ECMA’s in Moncton. If you found yourself being serenaded in an elevator then you found Les Hay Babies. As of late, relentless touring has led the band to faraway lands such as Switzerland and France. The European crowds are not used to the style of music that we are here in the Maritimes. The roots and bluegrass sound that is so dear to our culture is a genre that infrequently hits their shores.

“I think the crowd is always charmed by our Acadian French. For them folk/country music is actually more of like a foreign thing you only see in movies.”

They are now back in Canada and preparing for the album release, tuning their ukelele, banjo and guitars, patiently waiting for the summer festival season. They are ever-fond of Maritime festivals, such as the Stan Rogers Fest in Nova Scotia and the Acadie Rock in Moncton, Aube’s personal favourite.

Whether they’re playing castles or cottages, wine cellars or elevators, Les Hay Babies are going to bring you back to the roots you may not have known you had.

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