Picked to Click 2013: #6 (tie). Pony Bwoy
#6 (tie). Pony Bwoy: 44 points
I don't think we've ever made a song in the daytime," says Pony Bwoy vocalist Jeremy Nutzman. "We weren't looking for product, we were just hanging out and having fun."
The experimental R&B duo of Nutzman, who raps under the name Spyder Baybie Raw Dog, and producer Hunter Morley mostly work together in an after-after-party haze, melding sporadic sounds and ideas into tightly realized end results. Simultaneously free-form and intensely mulled-over, the lyrics feel stream-of-consciousness, while sonic structures meander through electronica, soul, hip-hop, funk, and "sappy-ass love ballads," as Morley put it.
See Also: Picked to Click official site
"We pick over it very harshly," Morley says. "We argue every little point. Every little word, every little note, we sit there and go back and forth and eventually settle on something. It's completely collaborative."
They stress that their songwriting is not evenly divided along lines of producer and vocalist, as both parties develop the song's live instrumentation, chord progressions, and lyrics. The music retains some of the standard Spyder Baybie grit but is also hauntingly beautiful, utilizing moody minor-key melodies to create some powerful compositions. Their self-titled debut album's lead single, "Ævum (time crawls)", accompanied by a slow-motion video of Nutzman being covered in black liquid, is a prime example of how affecting the stark dark-pop soundscapes can get.
"We were more surprised than anybody with how pretty-sounding it was," Morley recalls. But this is still party-driven music, built from impromptu late-night studio sessions and chemically enhanced creative spurts that aimed to make it sound like a different vocalist was singing on almost every song. "I imagine throwing a pile of mud at a plate glass window and a rainbow comes out the other side," says Nutzman. "It was concentrated, but it's a dirty style."
Within, you'll hear Nutzman rapping, crooning, and pitch-warped warbling as the underlying texture shifts subtly in multiple directions. Morley's past work with electro-pop act Enola Gay made him initially hesitant to begin a full-fledged new band, but after quickly amassing three albums' worth of material in the past year, it was clear Pony Bwoy was a beast of its own.
"There's definitely a workaholic attitude. If we died next year, we'd both be happy with the stuff we wrote this year," says Morley. "It's actually kind of serious and reflects where we were mentally and physically during the making of it."