Companion Thaw in Bed After a Chilly Night Out on New Single “Snowbank”

Twin sisters Jo and Sophia Babb debut a fittingly tender visual by illustrator Gaia Esther Maria ahead of their debut album Second Day of Spring.
First Listen

Companion Thaw in Bed After a Chilly Night Out on New Single “Snowbank”

Twin sisters Jo and Sophia Babb debut a fittingly tender visual by illustrator Gaia Esther Maria ahead of their debut album Second Day of Spring.

Words: Matt Wallock

Photo: Francesca McConnell

April 05, 2022

Companion's music exudes a quiet, rustic glow, but the duo behind the project—identical twin sisters Jo and Sophia Babb—aren't holed up in some backcountry cabin. Rather, they're based in Fort Collins, Colorado, about an hour north of Denver. They moved there from Oklahoma in 2020, and since then they've been working on their debut album Second Day of Spring, which arrives next month.

Their previous singles show the sisters' talent for crafting cozy arrangements with soft guitar parts, gentle harmonies, and subtle lyrical and melodic turns. But their new single “Snowbank” is one of the most intimate and beautiful tracks on the record, with the sisters' tender vocals eventually giving way to a slow-motion string sequence courtesy of Russell Durham. Written after a chilly night out, it's a song that feels designed to thaw or nurture some budding inner force: “Nested in your covers / Might as well have been a snow bank / In my fingers beat a heartache / I've never known.”

“We wanted something soft and intriguing with imagery of nature and snow and small animals,” says Jo of the accompanying visual, which was illustrated by Gaia Esther Maria. “‘Snowbank’ is a song I curled up into for a while after writing. I wanted the video to feel like you could burrow in it.” You can check out the visual and read a Q&A with Companion below, and pre-save Second Day of Spring—out May 27—here.

How long have you been making music together? When did you start Companion?

Sophia Babb: We've been singing together since we can remember. I vividly remember lying in a twin bed staring at the ceiling, singing our favorite Sunday school songs together. Around age 14, we both started learning guitar and got serious about playing music together. From there, we played for years in a country-folk band, playing in bars and festivals all over Oklahoma. In 2020, we moved to Colorado and planted the seeds for what's now Companion.

What's the story behind “Snowbank”? What's the opening line—“We saw everyone / And came home to nothing”—about?

Jo Babb: This song came about after a busy, blustery snowy night a few Februaries ago. I went out with a friend and we both ran into a dozen people we knew throughout the night. There was a snowstorm, but it seemed like everyone was still out on the town. When we returned to her house, it was suddenly just her and I, alone in the quietness. 

Do your songs usually start with melodies, lyrics, instrumentation?

Sophia: Our songs usually start with a little bit of both melodies and lyrics—generally, I'll sit down with my guitar, have an idea or concept I'd like to communicate in the song, and just start strumming and singing basically gibberish. Once I find a melody or rhythm I like, I reverse-engineer the gibberish into sensible words (although sometimes the gibberish ends up far more poetic than I could have consciously written). Other times, I'll write lyrics down in my phone and then find a melody to fit into it.

Jo: I completely second what Sophia said as a generalization of how my songwriting occurs, but for “Snowbank” in particular, all three (melody, lyrics, instrumentation) came at once and seemingly out of nowhere. The song was written and finished within five minutes.

How do you compose harmonies? What are some harmonizing inspirations?

Jo: We start with what feels right and easy and progressively tinker with the melody and harmony until it comes a bit more intricate. The Milk Carton Kids are a huge inspiration for me, personally, when it comes to harmonies.

Sophia: We absolutely love how The Paper Kites do harmonies—subtle, gentle, but always such a strong staple of their songs. Also, the harmonies on Clairo's most recent album were fantastic. Then, of course, there's the classics like Simon & Garfunkel and The Everly Brothers.

Has the environment around you in Colorado shaped your sound or songwriting?

Sophia: Our life since moving to Colorado has increased in beauty probably tenfold. It's almost impossible to not be influenced by the beauty of the land and the spirit of the people we've met here. The writing on our upcoming album was entirely shaped by our move to Colorado, and the recording was heavily influenced by the expansive mountain landscape. And if you listen closely, you'll hear Colorado bird song, the wind, and summer storms come through in the album, too.