Press Releases

Baby Dayliner

July 5, 2017


WATCH & SHARE: Baby Dayliner – “You Push, I’ll Go” (Listen HERE)
WATCH & SHARE: Baby Dayliner – “The Triumph of Sarah’s Past” (Listen HERE)

“This earworm of a track was a heavy hitter on the Morning Show in late 2000’s…”

“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

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 UncutTime 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.