Bayonne is the KUTX Artist of the Month for February. Photo by Pu Ying Huang/KUTX.
Roger Sellers’ early records are fascinating experiments. At the time, the Austin musician was toying with both folk and ambient electronic music, making for collections of–as one album calls it–moments rather than big statements. But when Sellers got into looping and sequencers, look out. All of a sudden, his music went widescreen. Fast forward a few years, and now Sellers plays under the name Bayonne. Drastic Measures, his new album, takes that experimental streak and gives it more of a pop twist: the drums are bigger, the melodies hit harder, and Sellers’ voice is surrounded by a lusher sound.
This week on My KUTX, Sellers digs deep with a guest DJ set of influences, teenage memories, and sonic exploration. Hear My KUTX on Saturday, February 23 at 6 p.m. or anytime at the bottom of the page.
–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX
1. Wye Oak – “Before”
2. C Duncan – “Say”
3. Maps & Atlases – “Fall Apart”
4. Animal Collective – “What Would I Want? Sky”
5. Louis Cole – “Tunnels In The Air” (feat. Thundercat)
6. Air – “Universal Traveler”
7. Ben Folds Five – “Don’t Change Your Plans”
8. Pinback – “This Red Book”
9. The Flaming Lips – “In The Morning Of The Magicians”
10. Sufjan Stevens – “They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For the Homeless in Muskegon)”
If you frequented the local live music scene some years back, you probably remember seeing stickers that said, “Roger Sellers is NOT a DJ.” Fast forward to today, where we know that’s the understatement of a decade and where Sellers has made a new name for himself: Bayonne.
The sheer talent and keep-you-guessing nature behind this vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer extraordinaire made it easy to name Bayonne our February 2019 Artist of the Month, who also joined us in Studio 1A yesterday. While he was there Bayonne treated us to his latest album, Drastic Measures, a layer-heavy wall of sound and the strongest we’ve ever heard Sellers. The sold out release show for Drastic Measures is 8PM tonight at the Mohawk and in case you missed out on a ticket, you don’t need to miss out on Drastic Measures; here’s “Same”!
Austin’s Bayonne (real name: Roger Sellers) has been largely dormant around town for the last few years, breadcrumbing us with a song here, a remix there, and, occasionally, a performance. But he hasn’t been sitting in a damp, dark bedroom somewhere, ensnared in the vines of synth cables and losing himself in a timeless vortex. Sellers has been on the road, peddling his brand of classic-pop-inspired electronic indie across the Western hemisphere and gaining impressive followings everywhere from New York and LA to London and Luxembourg. Following 2016’s Primitives is Drastic Measures, a study in layers, looping, layers, and looping, producing a sound as expansive as it is dense. True to form, Drastic Measures sounds as appropriate playing to crowds of thousands as it does playing in the background of your cool, older cousin’s dinner party. So what are you waiting for? Check out the video for “Drastic Measures” below and hop in the time machine for a look at Bayonne’s last performance in Studio 1A.
-Feb. 14: Live in Studio 1A at 3 PM with Laurie Gallardo
– Feb. 15: Drastic Measures album release show at Mohawk Indoors
– Feb. 22: Drastic Measures is out on Mom + Pop Records
Austin, TX experimental musician Roger Sellers, AKA Bayonne, is somewhat of an outlier in the local scene. In a city filled with pearl snaps, guitar licks, and love songs (not that there’s anything wrong with those things!), Bayonne creates cavernous ambient soundscapes. Don’t be mistaken though, this isn’t the meditative music of Brian Eno.
On the new Bayonne record, Drastic Measures, Sellers merged his increasingly classic pop inspired sensibilities with a production approach closely focused on looping, layering, and overdubbing. “Even if you hear something simple like clapping or finger snaps, it’s probably layered 10 or 20 times,” he says. “I just like to stack and layer everything to get these big sounds, and create a really wide sonic space within the songs.”
No matter how big those sounds become, Bayonne maintains a certain sense of intimacy throughout Drastic Measures an effect that has much to do with his playful use of the field recordings he’s captured since he was a teenager. “That’s how I like it. I like having these little memories built up and then sticking them randomly in places all over the album. It’s almost like having some kind of diary within the music, and it gives it so much more meaning when I go back and listen.” Bayonne releases Drastic Measures Friday, February 22 and celebrates with a Sold Out show at Mohawk on Friday, February 15.
Scroll through some of our Bayonne goodies and keep it tuned to KUTX all month long for more from our newest Artist of the Month!
Shy Beast is the KUTX Artist of the Month for January. Photo by Gabriel C. Pérez/KUTX.
On “Leave Me Be,” Austin’s Shy Beast build an earworm from a lot of disparate parts: Mariclaire Glaser’s staccato piano and smooth singing; fuzzed-out guitars; and a boom-bap drum beat. The band’s guest DJ set works the same way, finding time for Brazilian sambas, pop crooners, electronic ballads, and even a little Zeppelin. Hear Shy Beast’s My KUTX on Saturday, January 19, 6 to 7 p.m. or listen anytime at the bottom of the page.
–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX
[intro music: Shy Beast – “Leave Me Be”]
1. The Cardigans – “Gordon’s Gardenparty”
2. Ben Folds Five – “Kate”
3. Led Zeppelin – “The Ocean” (live)
4. Self – “Baby, Can You Dig Your Man?”
5. Scott Walker – “Mathilde”
6. The Replacements – “Alex Chilton”
7. Burt Bacharach – “Something Big”
8. The Strokes – “Automatic Stop”
9. Cody ChesnuTT – “Til I Met Thee”
10. George Harrison – “I Live For You”
11. Girls – “Lust For Life”
12. Daft Punk – “Something About Us”
13. Antonion Carlos Jobim & Elis Regina – “Aguas de Marco”