Since 2006, Baio has been best known as the bass-player in Vampire Weekend, the New York-based rock band who last year won a Grammy for their third album, Modern Vampires of the City. In his downtime between tours, however, Baio recognized in himself an increasing restlessness, a desire to explore his own individual voice away from the band.
He describes The Names as “a realization of my influences and things that I love” — a world quite distinct to that of Vampire Weekend. Those influences do of course emerge in bass-playing, and surfaced on an earlier EP, Sunburn (2012), but what is striking about Baio’s first solo collection is its marked difference to his work with the band. There are “straight-up love songs” here, as well as songs that nod to Dostoyevsky, Kurosawa, Iggy Pop, The Cars; there’s a track Baio describes as “a classic rock band arrangement, throwback pop song” and a “tribute to David Bowie and Bryan Ferry.”
French Cassettes are a four-piece indie pop band.