Chris Baio has kept a secret for some time. If that name doesn't jump off the page immediately, just know that Baio is no slouch in the rock star department. He's spent the last 8 years putting the pep in Vampire Weekend with his spirited, low end contributions on the bass. Playing in such a beloved band is one of those unique, full-time jobs that also somehow creates a ton of down time on planes and tour buses, in hotel rooms, at concert venues, etc. There is a lot of time to sit around and think...there is a lot of time to figure out what to do about all those sounds bopping about in the brain.
In Baio's case he took the opportunity to find his own unique voice and fashion himself a songwriter. It's a side of his musical persona that he's tinkered with for the last 6 years or so, only recently introducing his solo project (efficiently titled, Baio
) to the world. So we invited the bespectacled and blazered New Yorker-turned-Londonite by Baeble to show us around his brand new solo debut, The Names
"I consider myself a songwriter as much as a bass player", Baio told us during his visit. "This is now a place where I get to do that, so I'm psyched on it". As he should be. Actually, that particular quote is falls on the modest side of things. He's actually a musician, songwriter, producer, and DJ these days; all roles that influence the refreshing, meandering nature of both The Names
and the impressive session we captured.
On electronic inspired cuts like "Brainwash yyrr Face" and the album's title track, Chris refrences both classic art rock and the early days of techno music (think Bowie, Television, Talking Heads, and Arthur Russell). Naturally, there are also glimpses of his other gig with Vampire Weekend lurking on the album and our performance here, particularly on the skittish, acoustic rendering of first single "Sister of Pearl" (Baio's "little Woody Guthrie moment"). "The most exciting part for me is that I've been thinking about this record for a really really long time," Baio concludes. "Now that the songs are out there it's not my secret anymore".