BAYNK | Traversing the Dirty and Imperfect in New Single "Feel"

Heart-pumping, heart-wrenching mortality

Written by

Julia Zara

Photographed by

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Styled by

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Photographed by Adrian Nieto

Between steady synths and the taps of a trackpad lies a realm. A realm that catches us in the trance-like limbo of space and time. A haze that lifts us above the here and now. A hypnotic vision that repeats over, and over, and over again like a dream. BAYNK, a Grammy-nominated artist from New Zealand, captures this realm like lightning in a bottle with the latest chapter of his upcoming album, SENESCENCE. Releasing two tracks episodically – “Feel” and “Blood” – this week, BAYNK takes us above the dream state and into facets of the human condition that feel so inherent you can almost touch them. “Feel,” with its bright beats and fast tempo itch the brain like a hit of ecstasy as BAYNK sings, “Feel just a little bit / Push it up / Try to take it in.” And it has the immersive, blurry neon fantasy of a music video to accompany it. 

As “Feel” enthralls, “Blood” reflects, like coming down. The track is melodramatic and grounded, infused with strings that sound intimate, naked and raw. “Blood” is entranced with imagery: it’s not just the red elixir that rushes through veins like cracks in a forearm – to BAYNK, it’s “a rush / A garden / A God.” “Blood” cuts through earphones and drips into experience as BAYNK melodies about heart-pumping, heart-wrenching mortality. He pleads, “Breathe, breathe / Trying to breathe.” Two visualizers, "Fool for You" and "Inches" are out already, and SENESCENCE is set to release later this year.

Five years ago, your hit “go with u” featured a music video complete with interpretive dance in a glass box in the woods. How have you seen your music change from Someone’s EPs I-III to now?

It’s devolved from cleanliness and precision into a dirtier, more exciting thing IMO. More weight has started to be put into story and overall aesthetics as opposed to the razor focus I used to have on my production alone. I like both takes but I need the novelty for continued growth and motivation.

SENESCENCE by definition means biological aging, and in “How Does It Feel?” the lyrics go, “Things change, yeah, they come and go/ 'Cause we're running outta time, I can feel your afterglow." How is this music different from ADOLESCENCE?

It’s less about the past and experiences from my youth, and more about the future – growing older and all the thoughts that come with that stage of life. It’s a realization that our time here is finite and a reminder to celebrate it whilst we can.

How has ADOLESCENCE prepared you for the making of SENESCENCE? 

Mental preparation for how many bad songs I’d have to make before getting anything decent.

You are playing two shows in September, one here in LA at The Wiltern Theatre and one in NY at Terminal 5. Can you talk to us a bit about the production aspect of these shows?

Production is one of the most exciting aspects of any new show experience for me. Spencer Graves and myself dreamt up a set piece to perform on top of that consists of a pillow supporting a giant concrete slab. It’s a wild sight and terrifying to stand on top of. I can’t wait to show it to the people. I’m also bringing a few musical friends and collaborators into the fray which should add some spice.

Seems like this roll out is a unique approach to the typical campaign strategy. What made you decide to release songs two at a time? 

Although I still love albums as a format I feel like it often leads to songs being buried amidst the noise. I prefer (this time at least) to treat every song like a single, give it the attention it deserves and make sure it can hold its own.

In your “Feel” music video, the Psychic Shop Guy says, “In your past life, I feel like you was a bird.” In your past life, what do you think you were?

I think a penguin. Hard to be sure. But I feel most spiritually aligned with the penguin.

What are you most excited for fans to listen to on SENESCENCE?

It changes week to week but currently "Grin."

In some of your music videos (like “When I'm Alone”), you’re running, whether that’s into the embrace of someone else or into the ocean like in “Feel.” With your upcoming music, what are you running from or to, if anything?

Destination unknown. I’m just trying to enjoy the run.

Where do you go to find quiet in the noise?

Actually running. I’ve loved it for years. It’s hard to concentrate on anything other than running when you’re running. The minutiae of everyday life fades away. I feel like it’s the fix for the majority of my problems.

You can “run” to BAYNK’s SENESCENCE shows in the coming months. His sprint begins in Australia’s 170 Russell, Metro Theatre and The Princess Theatre. From there, his path takes you to The Wiltern in LA and ends in NY’s Terminal 5 in late September.

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Flaunt Magazine, BAYNK, SENESCENCE, Feel, New Single, Grammy, Music, Julia Zara