BABY DAYLINER SHARES “YOU PUSH, I’ll GO” VIDEO &
THE SONG’S BELATED COMMERCIAL RELEASE ON KEXP
BIO WRITTEN BY THE NATIONAL’S MATT BERNINGER
NEW EP OUT JULY 7, 2017 VIA BRASSLAND
Watch: Baby Dayliner – “You Push, I’ll Go”
Listen on Soundcloud HERE (link will be public at 2pm EST Thursday, 7/6)
“This earworm of a track was a heavy hitter on the Morning Show in late 2000’s…” – KEXP
“True to Berninger’s testimonial, the new song manages to capture the finer details of human nature and complex feeling… Marunas has X-ray vision and is reading the tiny, tiny spaces that exist between the lines.”
– Consequence of Sound
“a retro romo romp through a New York ghost world that is neither the drainpipe-and-denim sweat pile of CBGBs nor the mirrorball glitz of Studio 54 but somewhere in between.”
— Uncut Magazine
“Mix a couple of degrees of Kevin Bacon with some actual musical talent and you get yourself some Baby Dayliner.”
— Jezebel (Baby Dayliner named one of the 2008 Sexiest Everyday Men)
“He croons stream-of-consciousness song-poems with strong flowing melodies over backing tracks of eighties pop and dance synth and keyboard sounds.”
— Time Out New York
Watch: Baby Dayliner – “The Triumph of Sarah’s Past” / Listen below
With his first commercial release in over a decade, NYC-based, romantic electronic pop artist, Baby Dayliner, returns and announces a new EP due out July 7th, 2017 via Brassland. With this release accompanied by glowing praise from The National‘s singer Matt Berninger, who recently spoke for almost a half hour on SURFACE NOISE Vinyl & Music Podcast about Baby Dayliner’s new EP. The focus of the chat with Berninger focuses on the fact that “10 years after quitting the music business, Brooklyn pop artist Baby Dayliner is finally ready to come back.” [Listen to the podcast here] Composer Nico Muhly and hip-hop recording artist and producer Aesop Rock also advocated this record; Baby Dayliner is an artist’s artist.
Aesop Rock, known for his complex wordplay and impossibly intricate delivery, speaks highly of Baby Dayliner’s lyrics, saying, “[His] lyrics incorporate many of the conversational idiosyncrasies that have endeared him to his friends. He has always spoken in a particular way, each word carefully chosen – humorous, philosophical, or something in between. There is a peculiarity to it — the personality and humanness of the author.”
Nico Muhly, a composer widely hailed as one of the foremost compositional voices of his generation, breaks down the uniqueness of the music, saying, “Let’s talk for a second about Baby Dayliner’s sound, and first off, his voice: There is something inherently strange about it; untrained, quirky, and insistent in this one trick in which a single note simultaneously exists in two different tunings. It is a wonderful combination of stylised and conversational. It is it’s Own Thing and surprisingly emotional. The instrumental landscape is synthesized, so it’s a bit 80’s, and the danger is that we might be in an Ironic Space, my least favourite, but then his voice is so naturally expressive that it reassures us that these words are deeply felt, even if seen through a variety of stylised lenses.”
That’s what Baby Dayliner and his forthcoming EP aim for: an impact that sticks with you.
Serving as Baby Dayliner’s third commercial release, You Push, I’ll Go was recorded in upstate New York during the artist’s brief time away from his longtime home in Manhattan. The new collection is the first product of that period of sequestration that reveals a series of songs – some new, some reworked from sets between his last release and today. While the music borrows elements from synth-pop, dance music, and hip-hop, it never confuses them. The sound has the sweetness and catchiness of indie pop, and elements of R&B ‘real talk’ and yet it sits uncomfortably between those genres, making it a fusion of worlds that other artists can’t help but notice.
Baby Dayliner was discovered by Brassland in 2001, the dawn of NYC’s indie rock hype-cycle as documented in the new oral history sensation Lizzy Goodman’s Meet Me in the Bathroom. While Brooklyn was teeming with a cool factor that preceded the blog rock trend, Baby Dayliner (Ethan Marunas) aka Babbs emerged onto the scene to become a true pioneer. Brassland flagship band, The National, were still struggling to catch a break, Baby Dayliner was packing downtown clubs — inspiring the band, as well as the label.
In the early to mid-00s, rabid fans would fill his shows singing along to every hyper-literate lyric, while mimicking his stage moves. Embodying the effortless cool of Frank Sinatra and the romanticism of Morrissey, The National’s Matt Berninger says that it was, in part, Baby Dayliner’s fearlessness on stage that gave him license to become The National’s front person in the first place.
Baby Dayliner went on to open for The National during their 2006 North American tour, their first burst of their popularity. After signing to Brassland – the label co-owned by Bryce and Aaron Dessner – Babbs headline dates followed in London and Paris. After his sophomore album, Critics Pass Away, which was praised by Uncut, Time Out New York, and many others, Baby Dayliner seemed to disappear.
The truth is: he never really left. In 2008, Jezebel named him one of the world’s Sexiest Everyday Men, alongside President Barack Obama and his bodyguard, and journalists Nate Silver and Ezra Klein. In subsequent years an early leaked demo of “You Push, I’ll Go” was named Song of the Day on KEXP, where it became an all-time favorite of morning host, John Richards.
For the lion’s share of the past decade, though, Babbs left the performing scene behind for a steady rhythm of work as a DJ throughout NYC’s clubs, bars, and backrooms, where he puts his unique spin on the Top 40 hits. He did, however, tour in 2014 — performing a dozen American tour dates with The Uncluded (a collaboration between Aesop Rock and Kimye Dawson) occasionally joined by The Pizza Underground (Macaulay Culkin‘s Velvet Underground parody band).
In 2015, KEXP’s John Richards — following years of airplay for “You Push, I’ll Go” — enthusiastically invited Baby Dayliner to join the line-up of a benefit concert for the Seattle station. “I’ve been waiting to for years to see that live,” Richards said after the performance of “You Push, I’ll Go.” In 2016, the subscription vinyl club Turntable Kitchen put the track on 7″ wax for its first ever physical release — which reinforces its status as an underground cult classic.
Photo Credit: Damien Paris
YOU PUSH, I’ll GO – TRACK LISTING
01. Don’t Ghost Me (featuring Blockhead)
02. The Triumph of Sarah’s Past
03. You Push, I’ll Go (featuring Alex Sanchez)
04. All Parties Are Over
TBA in NYC and Brooklyn
About: Baby Dayliner’s You Push I’ll Go
by Matt Berninger
The lyrics of so many pop songs feel like they were chosen by a committee from the same stale bag of recycled thoughts. I never get this feeling with Baby Dayliner. He writes in an extraordinarily personal tone that I’ve never heard in pop music. He writes about the small vulnerable moments of life and nails the details. He goes on little narrative runs that put me right in the moment.
It’s almost like being inside his head while he thinks to himself — while pivots from a personal tone to an ornate one within the same song keeps me connected and on my toes.
Baby Dayliner’s live performances are as idiosyncratic as his records. Whenever I’ve seen him live he’s been alone on stage with nothing but a microphone singing to his recorded backing tracks; beats, synths, loops and layers of harmonizing backing vocals, all him. He pans these harmonies far away from each other in the stereo field creating moments when different versions of Baby Dayliner suddenly step into the room and join the party. It’s like he’s cloned himself and given them all different roles to play in his tiny personal pop opera.
And Baby Dayliner dances when he performs — minimal shuffles and struts that appear to have been strictly choreographed and rehearsed. It feels like I’ve been invited into someone’s tiny apartment just to watch them being themselves. Within minutes I feel welcome and at home. His charm and unselfconsciousness is contagious and before long my own social anxieties dissolve and I’m singing and dancing along. He’s not kidding when he says “You’ll forget about yourself.” He likes to put little call and response moments in the middle of his songs like he’s teaching rally chants to freshman cheerleaders. “You say strange. I say dreamin’. Strange. Dreamin’. Strange. Dreamin’.” At his shows people will start singing with him and answering his calls without ever having heard the songs before. I’ve never seen that happen with any other artist.
What I like most Baby Dayliner’s writing is that there’s rarely any meanness in his songs; no forced posturing or aggressiveness; and they are loaded with empathy. He sings about flawed and vane characters but with genuine understanding and kindness. The music is catchy, smart, and weird— something beautiful and odd, that only he does.
Baby Dayliner is something uncommon in pop music. He’s unique.
Matt Berninger is the singer and primary lyricist of The National and EL VY. He helped create & conceive Mistaken for Strangers, the 2013 film about The National’s 2010 tour.