Last September, progressive dream-folk artist (and a slew of other genres blended into one) Roger Sellers released Primitives under his own name, but with the style and approach being different from his other releases, he decided to make a change. That change was inhabiting the moniker Bayonne, a name to represent his more electronic based material. As a result, the album was removed from all streaming sites until it could be re-released, so unless you were a proud owner of the record (I am!) it was going to be lost to you for a little. I omitted it from 2015's year end Top 50, instead deciding to wait for its re-release in 2016 and group it in there. I didn’t want to promote an album people couldn’t find and this isn’t something I didn't want flying under the radar. It’s too damn good.
I know I’m stating the obvious, but music is subjective. What I love could be something you can’t stand, and vice-versa. Within that generalization of like and dislike is a much more specific, much more personal breakdown of what you enjoy, and the level of enjoyment you get from it. Sometimes it will speak to singular emotions, while other times it will throw a blanket over a handful of them. But even within those specifics there is your core desire. Music that is so uniquely you. It could be a single song, it could be a full album, it could even be an artist’s entire catalog. It usually hits you unexpectedly, bringing to light something you didn’t even know you were craving, or waiting for. I would say the feeling happens a couple times a year, sometimes it comes easily (who didn’t listen to Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave) and sometimes it takes a bit of digging (who did listen to Zach Fleury’s Be Still, Neverland, Egypt? Honestly, I want to know, because I have no one to talk to about its perfection). In the simplest terms, it’s these albums that push my wandering ears, and will continue to push them as long as they work. I’m happy to say that I’ve found the first album to temporarily calm this sense of longing, Bayonne’s Primitives.
As some of you may have come to realize, my dissection of music consists mainly of moods and atmosphere. Lyrics to me, unlike most people, come secondary to feel, which is why I’m so attracted to instrumental music (though this album is not purely instrumental). To me, the music itself tells just as deep a story as the poetry spoken, if not deeper. It’s the sounds that lift my heart and fill me with passion. It’s the feelings derived from those sounds that I connect with. This is what Primitives excels in throughout, a beautiful array of sounds. It’s a brilliant display, whether it’s complex and layered into oblivion or a single note acting as the driving force; the arrangements, the flow, and the complete control the artist holds over his vision, it’s something special. The album begins with a dreamy but upbeat piece, sound steadily builds before his falsetto kicks in, soaring through the background. You float along for almost four minutes, until the drums enter and snap you back from the daydream, assisting in a beautifully chaotic build, which climaxes into a single tone as other notes flutter around it. It’s the perfect intro. I hear an opening like that and all I can do is buckle in.
When I’m listening to albums like this it sometimes feels as if the record is reading my mind, every note I want to hear, every move I want it to make it does, taking me on a journey that I never want to end. Track two has this playful mysticism that can’t help but bring you joy. Then, even though track three is in the same tempo and style, the mood is completely different, creating a wonderful blend and balance. The rest of the album continues like this, I would go into more detail but honestly I want you to go in open minded, feeling it from a place that is all your own. I really hope you guys love it. The progression feels so natural, never rushed, taking as much or as little time as the melody sees fit. Just…wonderful stuff. Absolutely wonderful.
And sorry, but I'm not choosing a single to represent the album here. Listen to it in full or deprive yourself of its true impact.