Released earlier in November, Primitives, the debut album from Bayonne, is a rich mix of minimalist composition and electro-driven pop, working its way through a plethora of experimental influences; from the layered rhythms of minimalist pioneer, Steve Reich to the Animal Collective like splattering of modulated effects. Intricate and totally hypnotic, Primitives is one of 2016’s most impressive debuts.
Vulture Hound asked the man behind the project, Roger Sellers, to give an insight into the influences behind the music and tell us about the 5 records that changed his life.
Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
This work has been a serious influence on my music in so many ways. Before college, I was always looking for a definition to fit a type of music I really wanted to make; repetitive, hypnotic songs based on rapid percussive notes and melody. When I discovered Steve Reich in college, I found that Minimalism was the word I was looking for. Music for 18 Musicians is a perfect example. I’m in love, not only with the melodic and hypnotic nature of the piece, but also the choice of instrumentation like mallets, piano, and voices.
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot
It’s rare for me to find an album that I can listen to all the way through and never get bored. This album defined songwriting for me when I was in early college. The track listing is literally perfect, while the lyrical meaning is truthful, the production is innovative, and the overall feel of the album is so real and raw. It’s one of my all time favorites.
Wye Oak – Shriek
There’s such a soft spot for me here. I think every song on this record was, at one point, my favorite. Jenn Wasner is one of my favorite singers and musicians. Together, they make music that is so tasteful and meaningful to me. There’s such great melodies and lyrical hooks throughout the entire record that really give me the feels. I have so much nostalgia with this record as well because I discovered it in a really crazy time in my life.
The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
This record is an obvious but valid choice. There are just so many songs that seem like they set the tone for a bunch of my favorite bands and artists. The instrumentation and musicality was extremely ahead of it’s time. I remember when I moved to San Marcos, my friends and I would rock this record all the time when we went to the river or grilled burgers outside my apartment, so it makes me think of my close friends and great times. ‘God Only Knows’ is possibly my favorite song ever written. This is one that I’ll always come back to.
Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
I could go on and on about this record. I discovered Animal Collective in late high school, but it wasn’t until early college when this was released and I became a forever fan. It still amazes me how they were able to write such strong songs and use such crazy instrumentation and have so much fun with it. The energy here is off the charts and the album’s sound stands completely on it’s own. It was a big influence on the way that I write music and try to approach it with such playfulness.
Watch Sellers in this mesmerising performance video for the track ‘Living Room’.
Primitives is out now via City Slang.