BAIO – Brainwash yyrr Face

BAIO takes a refreshing step away from his Columbia-college band roots with the certainly individual, but not definably indie, new electro-chill single. 

Ahead of upcoming solo album ‘The Names’ Chris Baio, bassist of indie-prep band Vampire Weekend, has released the opening track ‘Brainwash yyrr Face’. Make no mistake, this track is not a Vampire Weekend rip-off – far from it. Nowhere in his new album (I imagine) will one find screeching vocals and summer guitar riffs. Instead, subdued bass electronic tracks which shuffle and dance around your headphones are what characterise Chris Baio’s, aka ‘BAIO’, solo music. He shows himself as a competent and interesting DJ; flavourful and yet subtle. The track is a process. It starts very minimal, with a simple keyboard-type beat, then begins to loop and repeat, suddenly soft vocals creep in and it begins to take form. By the chorus, samples are being tossed into the mix and new layers emerge. Things get interesting. It takes a little while to get going but I’d like to think that is on purpose as the minimalism begins to repeat itself when the heavy beat is introduced. It shows a slow building up, layering, a journey. That is what I take from the single anyway.

His track ‘On&On&On&On’ released in September 2014 was also featured on this blog and I thoroughly enjoyed that single. This one, if possible, surpasses it and allows a slightly edgier sound to be sought out by the expert looping and reversed bass lines. This may not be what one expects from an indie band member, but it’s well worth a listen, and I certainly will be pre-ordering the album. It is chilled mellow track, with a likeness to Garden City Movement, Phoria, MK, and James Blake.

Listen Here

Feminists Are Annoying

Article written for controversial school pamphlet:

FEMINISTS ARE ANNOYING

From personal experience I can tell all women it is essential that you do not proudly proclaim yourself a ‘Feminist’. You must remember to never try to assert your authority – this will be only detrimental to your cause. Make sure that, if by some horrible coincidence you are labelled a feminist, everyone knows you don’t hate men.  Most likely you will be outed, stereotyped or disagreed with on most accounts. Of course, if I were in fact to give out instructions on ‘How to be a Feminist’ it would inevitably be completely hypocritical of the point of this article and also would be ‘annoying’.

Yes, I could make this an angry, rampant article about feminism and how women are treated unfairly because it is an extremely relevant issue but I don’t think it’s interesting anymore. I agree that we should shut up about feminism, we’ve heard it all before and it’s boring. Honestly, I’m bored too. I am bored of having to continually assert my right to speak, be heard and be respected. I’m also bored of the fact that mentioning the word will get you nowhere except eye-rolling and heavy sighing. Because feminists are bitchy, and loud, and annoying – right? Someone has got to shut them up.

I’m being satirical, by the way. I’m being funny. Feminism is funny – isn’t it? Irritating feminists is really funny. It’s hilarious that I am still compelled to write an article in a private, liberal boarding school about how women are not treated equally to men. Humanity has walked on the moon but girls are still having to prove their right to equality. I get it – talking about feminism makes us uncomfortable. But actually, it should be uncomfortable, and awkward. I want you to feel a little ashamed, annoyed and bored by this article – I want you to feel something. Get annoyed and get angry. Feminism is now so far removed from its original purpose that it has become a demonised and largely rejected concept for most people. The intended impact of feminism has become lost amongst the ‘white feminists’ and ‘menimist’ movements of Twitter and the media. For those who don’t know, mainstream ‘white feminism’ does not only disregard intersectionality but sometimes even attempts at diversifying their feminism actually contribute to the dilution of intersectional feminism by speaking over the voices which talk about the wage gap and exploitation of WOC. Be proud of standing up for equality and associating yourself with a ‘feminine’ concept.

It’s ironic because most of you have probably stopped reading by this point – the only ones left are the people who want to disagree and the bra-burners. What I’m trying to say is that yes, I agree with you, feminists are annoying. Sometimes you think we need to shut up. The reality is, feminists are annoying because they have to repeat themselves over and over again. Feminists are annoying because they get wound up by stupid little boys (and girls) who believe it is their god given right to be in on an inside joke against women, when in fact they are perpetuating the sexism which has been alive for hundreds of years and ridiculing a cause which women have literally died for. Why did no one teach them to shut up?

Article for Independent Voices

I was recently lucky enough to be given the opportunity to write an article for the Independent in their ‘Voices’ column as a result of my Sunday Times Harold Hobson Student Drama Critic Award I received at NSDF. My piece looked at drama in schools and how our new government would affect the arts in education. This is where my passions lie so this was a wonderful article to be able to write, if a little sad because of the statistics and bleak future for arts.

Have a read of it here and please share it around as much as possible!

Behind Every Beautiful Woman

Sunday night blues were creeping in last week, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive a text which led me to a last minute, unexpected trip to the National Theatre in London on Monday night with a beloved friend and her family as a treat for her birthday. I was told only that it was called ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ and it was chosen because the friend in question had recently travelled around India so her mother thought it was suitable. And suitable it was – it surpassed suitable, as anything at the National does; this was extraordinary.

Plastic bags, bottles, cardboard, and paper plummet onto the stage with an almighty crash. The performance has started and Asian songs with a heavy beat blare out over the speakers, startling the older members of our audience somewhat. Throughout the production projections of planes fly overhead and a fluid chorus rush back and forth across the stage. The delicacy of the actors juxtaposed the grandeur of the set well – although the sheer immensity of the stage often shadowed some of the smaller actors. I loved that the women in this play were at the forefront – playing villians, saints, and just being presented as real people who make mistakes. The story revolved around women and girls, and better still, women of colour – now that is a truly refreshing thing to see in theatre.

Atmosphere, feminism and vibrancy – the National Theatre created a piece with such flavour and tactile emotion that every member of the vast audience was enthralled from start to finish.

This Isn’t What We Expected from The Vaccines

What did we expect from The Vaccines? Probably not this crazy new sound – but we are loving it. The indie-pop band recently released their new single, a UK tour and a multitude of festivals dates. ‘Handsome’ has the familiar pop rock melodies of ‘Norgaard’ and the ironic teenage angst filled lyrics of ‘No Hope’ but it also is a breath of fresh air for the band. Justin has said that he wants the song to sound bad in 10 years, and have it define a generation of music – a bold claim for this self proclaimed pop band. I don’t think pop necessarily has to sound bad in 10 years, it just needs to be so familiar that you know it like it the back of your hand and the tune is so lodged in your brain that it’s pretty impossible to remove it once it gets stuck there.

Since ‘Handsome’, the band have given us a taste of the album with other singles like ‘Dream Lover’ and ’20/20′ (seen live 3rd April 2015). ‘Dream Lover’ is dripping with heavy, electronic riffs and is a spaced out, crazy single. 20/20 is upbeat, guitar-shredding, Vampire Weekend-inspired enjoyment, similar to their older stuff – it’s my favourite so far. However, it does have a close competitor in the form of ‘Minimal Affection’. I must admit when I first heard the opening notes of MA I wasn’t convinced – it wasn’t really up my street, or so I thought. On a second, and then third, and then fourth listen (all back to back you understand) – I was sold. It’s funky, it’s catchy – it’s like The Strokes, Chromeo and early Vaccines B-sides in one big, beautiful melting pot. Solid, groovy tunes and ambiguous lyrics are looking more and more likely to characterise the new album.