Austin musician Bayonne has just released his new album, Drastic Measures, which sees the artist (aka Roger Sellers) merge his increasingly classic-pop-inspired sensibilities with a production approach closely focused on looping, layering, and overdubbing.
The new album takes its title from a track that embodies the album’s central theme: the instability inherent in an artist’s life, and the often-futile attempt to attain balance. With its unrelenting urgency and heavy-hearted lyrics, Drastic Measures looks at the disorienting effects of constant touring. “After a while you kind of start to lose touch with home and your friends and your family,” says Sellers. “You come back and feel like you’ve missed out on a lot, like you’re stepping into a whole different life.”
As the album offers up many a transcendent melody and anthemic chorus, Drastic Measures also reflects the volatility of moods within that way of life. “There can be so many highs and lows in such a small amount of time,” says Sellers. “I remember my parents flying to one of my shows in Brooklyn and feeling incredibly grateful that I got to share it with them. Just weeks before that I was touring through Germany, feeling so isolated and lost. The ups and downs can be crazy if you don’t actively try to manage them.”
Bayonne is set to tour the UK this March, with additional dates in Paris and Amsterdam. In keeping with this theme, check out the Top 10 tracks he enjoys listening to on tour… aka Tour Feelers.
1. Khruangbin – ‘White Gloves’
“This track is so melancholic, yet so peaceful and serene. It was definitely the track that got me into this band.”
2. Air – ‘Universal Traveler’
“I remember the first time listening to this song when I was travelling through the mountains in New Mexico and being blown away by the production and the ethereal feeling it gave me. I listen to this whole record on the road all the time and it takes me to Mars.”
3. Brave Shores – ‘More Like You’
“I’m not quite sure how this song became such a go to for me when travelling. The melody is great, it’s mysterious, and the sort of arpeggiated, delayed synth makes me fall in love.”
4. Here We Go Magic – ‘I Just Want To See You Underwater’
“I find this song hard to describe. Loops and repetition have always been something I’m drawn to, but when you can match that with the coolest lo-fi production and beautifully subtle musicality, I’m there for the long haul.”
5. Maps & Atlases – ‘Fall Apart’
“There’s always something beautiful about a great chorus. I’ve liked this band for a long time, but the catchiness and melody is so much fun to me. I’m addicted.”
6. Courtney Barnett – ‘Elevator Operator’
“There have been so many times that I pull this song up when my tour manager and I need a pick me up. I love the feeling Courtney Barnett’s music gives me on the road. It always helps brighten up the dark times.”
7. Wye Oak – ‘Before’
“This is just one of my favourite albums ever. I have such an emotional attachment to all the tracks, but this one really represents what it means to me. It’s helped me through some crazy times over the years and I always find myself going back to it.”
8. JR JR – ‘Nothing But Our Love’
“I have a huge connection with this record too, and this is the track that did it. I’ll never forget flying home from New York City years ago on a late night flight. I had this song on repeat and was in tears for a large portion of the flight.”
9. Sufjan Stevens – ‘They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black’
“Sufjan is one of the first artists to introduce me into minimalism, which is what I base most of my creative endeavours on. This track is a perfect example of what I love about repetition, melody, and layering.”
10. Pinback – ‘Grey Machine’
“They might be my favourite band. I’ve been listening to them consistently since I was 14. This track was one of my favourite songs for much of my teenage years and I still jam it all the time. It’s long, epic, and extremely melodic, which is what made me such a mega fan. I’ll always love Pinback.”
Bayonne’s latest album, Drastic Measures, is out now via City Slang.
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Find Bayonne’s playlist below.