Bayard Russell – Selftitled

Bayard Russell – Selftitled / 2006 Self / 11 Tracks / 

Individuals that concern themselves with the indie NYC scene may know Bayard Russell. This is due to the fact that ey is the lead vocalist and bassist for the seminal NYC act Negative Ken. If you have went to a show at places such as Arlene’s Grocery, Snitch, or the Orange Bear, there is a good chance you may have seen Russell live. However, what ey does in Negative Ken is nowhere near the style of music that is presented to listeners during “Selftitled”. “Living At My Moms” is the first track on the album, and it provides listeners with a brand of indie, shoegazing rock that has been fed through a synthesizer. The dreaminess of Russell’s vocals during this track is matched well with the cool atmosphere that is provide by the aforementioned synthesizer.

Russell puts a set of catchy percussion that links well with the harmonies achieved by Russell’s own vocals; what results is the first single-worthy track on “Selftitled”. While the overall sound of “Just Feel”, the second track on “Selftitled”, is much the same as “Living At My Moms”, there seems to be a much different feel to this track. There is a hint of brooding present even as the instrumentation twinkles throughout the entirety of the track. Again, Russell’s vocals are what provides individuals with catchy harmonies and something to grip onto. It is by the time that “I Know” that it almost seems as if Russell will fall into a rut, but something new – what sounds like an electric set of strings – presents itself. The simple inclusion of this instrument, which perhaps takes up ten seconds of the track’s runtime, is enough to keep individuals riveted onto their seats for a number of tracks to come.

Where most of the tracks are driven by Russell’s own vocals, “Crazy For You” shakes things up in that it is the drums, and not the vocals, that provide the catchiness needed to make listeners perk up and focus on the album. By shifting eir style and approach for each of the tracks on “Selftitled”, Russell is able to come up with a solid and constantly fresh album. The disc may outwardly look like nothing special, but all that individuals need to do is stick the album in and be placed on clouds of indie rock that will float them along for the better part of an hour.

Top Tracks: Crazy For You, I Know
Rating: 7.2/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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