Known best as the rug-cuttin’ bassist for indie-darlings-turned-Grammy-winners Vampire Weekend, Chris Baio offers a glimpse into the inner groove that fuels him with his solo debut The Names. With tightly arranged electronic beats, sampled vocals, warbly synths, manipulated guitar lines, and intimate, breathy singing, Baio’s solo venture is a substantial departure from the music he makes with Ezra Koenig and company.
Baio began work on The Names, which is titled after a 1982 Don DeLillo novel, after moving from New York to London in 2013, and would add-to and tweak musical ideas while on tour. Made partially in an effort to get back to the electronic music he enjoyed in college as a DJ, tracks like “I Was Born in a Marathon” and “All the Idiots” are practically club ready. For all their differences, though, Baio and Vampire Weekend wind up with similar results: eccentric explorations of pop music that are immensely enjoyable.