Week in Pop: Brodie Bones, Monsterlips, .paperman, Sky Chefs

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Traversing through the pink parallel worlds with Paperman; photographed by Richard Fusillo.
Traversing through the pink parallel worlds with Paperman; photographed by Richard Fusillo.

We may recently recall our debut of Hheaven‘s “Kabbalist Heist” off the A Single Rose EP & our subsequent coverage of Hollow Sunshine, Other Houses, & more—we have the pleasure & privilege of introducing you to Bryant Keith Bayhan’s new .paperman EP nectarmines followed by an insightful discussion with the Morro Bay, California based artist. Currently working in various stylistic disciplines, collaborating with various artists, including Certain Futures/The Young Vintage’s Michael Gompers [the brother of the journalist behind Goldmine Sacks], Johnny Wilson and a host of other artists as well as upcoming works in process on the back burners—Bayhan has set out to ring in the new west coast underground gentry through an incoming stream of sounds that spell out the audio textures for a new age & era.
Enter the abundant & fruitful minefield of beautiful fortunes & fancies that is .paperman’s nectarmines. A release worthy of being heralded on all the headlines of all of your favorite pop culture rags, Bryant Bayhan pulls out all the stops to bring you his latest solo craft of astonishing accomplishment. The constructive craft of creative humanism can be heard blended together on the mesmerizing beauty of “emulating a human” where imitations of our own shared & acknowledged systems of experience are mapped out in chords & richly textured arrangements that kicks off a dance party that can hardly be defined. And that is right about when Bryant & company bring out the real heavy guns on “pastel moon” that imagines our lunar reflective rock beaming about a host of sumptuous synths & tricks that rains down candy that sounds like a single that could have been brought to us by the rich tastes at Arbutus Records. Every illustrious glittering glimmer & twinkling shimmer is thrown into the pudding, as further illustrations of manufactured humanity are exhibited on the slippery liquid electro-bop of “block printing a child” that skips into the omni-universe collecting head trip of “oni” that dabbles into audio frequencies that will trigger the vague impulses of nostalgia that makes the song feel like something you have known for most of your life. Finishing up with the title track “nectarmines”, Bayhan saves what is arguably his most ambitious number for last that captivates with some of the smoothest sequences yet. Every note embodies the feeling of refreshed tranquility, as if you were exploring a clandestine, ancient spa & springs only known to a few where a host of illuminating wonders await to enchant all senses of imaginative receptors.

.paperman presented in pastels; photographed by Connor Foltyn-Smith & Bryant Keith Bayhan.
.paperman presented in pastels; photographed by Connor Foltyn-Smith & Bryant Keith Bayhan.

Bryant Keith Bayhan of .paperman broke down the new EP track for track, followed by an interview exclusive:


nectarmines is an EP drawn together by narratives of abandonment and searching.

emulating a human

“emulating a human” reflects self-actualization and leaving behind parts of ourselves that we don’t like in order to, hopefully, become better people as we grow older. Songs often appear to me as colors and when I’m looking for tracks to make into singles I like to find pink ones, this song is extremely pink to me.

“pastel moon”

“pastel moon” is breaking away from people that hurt us and finding individuals that love us for who we really are. “pastel moon” was first released, as a much earlier version, a year ago on my mini-LP kink lagoon. This song is important musically and very special to me because it was the first time that I felt like I wrote a song that sounded exactly how I wanted it to sound in my head.

“block printing a child”

“block printing a child” expresses discovering where we each belong so we don’t have to be scared and then creating something beautiful there. I have a tendency to mishear other people’s lyrics so when I write vocals I often leave them wordless or sing nonsense vowel sounds because that way when people hear the wrong words in their head they’ll actually often make more sense than what I’m really saying. The song never loses meaning through misinterpretation, it gains it.


“oni” is letting go of the ghosts from our pasts by discovering inner strength and confidence. I didn’t realize this when I named the song, but the word oni translates to devils or demons in Japanese.

Paperman photographed in telekon green by Jillian Dudley.
Paperman photographed in telekon green by Jillian Dudley.

Tell us about working with Michael Gompers on his forthcoming EP, the latest single “Our Match Is Dying Out” along with the creation of the nectarmines EP.
“Our Match is Dying Out” is a brilliant track; it is my favorite song from Michael’s EP so far to work on and to listen to. Michael and I rearranged the song together and Meghan largely improvised the parts she sang, I’m going to get Michael to bring Meghan [Trask] back out again to record because they sound so beautiful together. Michael sent me a demo of the song he made on his phone and I immediately wanted to make it a big stadium rock track with a blurry, Cocteau Twins-style, dream pop quality.
nectarmines explores self-acceptance, knowing that you’re good enough, and not letting people control you. The title of this song is a reference to my album from a year ago called honey. The song was built around a synthesizer patch I made by sampling my voice and trying to make it sound like a keyboard—the effect makes me feel uneasy at times.
Would sorts of discoveries did you find through the creation of the nectarmines EP?
Creating the nectarmines EP was unique to me because it is the longest time I’ve worked on and added to a single project. The first song I wrote for the record was pastel moon whose DNA can be traced back to early mixes in March 2016. Throughout the past year, I took breaks from working on and performing the songs from nectarmines to make two ambient albums and a number of one-off collaborations—all of this influenced my writing so much.
Writing ambient music is very special to me because it fills most of my home life. I find it difficult to listen to much else when I’m doing school work etc, so I put on ambient musicians like Harold Budd, Brian Eno, or Klaus Schulze because they don’t make my brain feel busy. Making ambient music can be more impulsive and emotional for me than making pop music because it’s primal and immediately gratifying; I can take impulses and seemingly random ideas/insights and stretch them out to fill an eight, ten, or twelve minute long recording…or sometimes shorten the idea down to eight seconds. It feels a lot like producing for other musicians rather than traditional songwriting. Making all kinds of music is very satisfying to me and working in the studio often feels more similar to performance than production. For the nectarmines EP I separated my ambient tracks from the pop songs in order to release them on other albums, I wanted this collection of songs to be danceable and a distilled version of the work I’ve been producing. However, a lot of qualities bleed through from the ambient albums, most notably in songs like the title track, nectarmines, where all of the instruments could easily have been used to make an ambient track but instead I added a techno kick and made it a dance song.
I’ve been performing the songs from nectarmines for the last year while simultaneously recording and adding material to them. I treat live performances as a testing ground to work out new ideas and receive feedback, but for every 30 minutes I spend with the songs on stage, there are 50 to 80+ hours in the studio spent writing, mixing, removing, and altering the music.
My live performances are very tight, organized, and arranged to help me give people the best show possible; but to keep that spark and life which is often necessary when performing music, I constantly rotate new songs into my sets and change parts so that nothing ever feels too set in concrete. Every song will be different each time I perform it. What I learned through making nectarmines is the value of viewing music creation and the recording process as long-form improvisation. Improvisation such as you hear in genres of music like jazz or in rock guitar solos, is short-form improvisation; it takes place over 40 seconds or 4 minutes—or sometimes, 14 minutes in the case of some musicians—where the musical idea only exists in that moment and context and can never be listened to in the exact same way again. Long-form improvisation is taking ideas and responding to them over weeks and months of time such as the process I experienced making this EP. I tend to record the initial idea for a song and arrange it in about two or 3 days, and that honestly is where at least 70-80% of the work is completed; the rest of the song comes from playing for people, listening back hundreds of times, and altering the initial creation as new contexts arise and circumstances change. I am not the same person that I was a year ago, I have changed, and now the songs have become something different to me. Since producing can feel indistinguishable from performance to me, I am often performing songs not for four minutes on stage, but for four months at a time.
A conversation with Paperman; photographed by Richard Fusillo.
A conversation with Paperman; photographed by Richard Fusillo.

What other areas of arts have been grabbing your attention as of late?
I draw a lot with chalk pastels and I hand draw all of my album sleeves; I’m currently still designing the back of the nectarmines EP. The visual arts such as painting and photography have always been important to me; everyone in my family makes art. Over the past few years, my music has been largely inspired by filmmaking and soundtracks, and even more recently, the interactive qualities and visual design of games have been a noticeable influence. Last weekend I went to an art/science exhibit designed by David Byrne (Talking Heads) and Mala Gaonkar called Neurosociety which placed the audience in interactive environments where they were asked questions about morality, the mind-body problem, and our knowledge of reality. The presentation felt a lot like several video games that have come out recently and was a fascinating experience.
Next moves for .paperman?
My next moves for .paperman are that I would like to find a nice label to work alongside. I’ve always been very proud of the songs I make, I’ve spent a lot of time working on my craft, and my music is constantly changing and developing. I feel like now is as good of a time as ever to start getting my music to more people.
Spring & summer wishes?
I currently have another ambient album almost finished and I’d like to turn some of the songs from nectarmines into a full album by the summer. Once I complete this next ambient release I will have published about four hours of new music this past year, closer to five if you count my collaborations with other artists.
.paperman’s new EP nectarmines is available now from Bandcamp.