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Michael Seyer pays homage to contemporaries in his own unique way with new album

‘Bad Bonez’ dropped March 7

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Michael Seyer pays homage to contemporaries in his own unique way with new album

Michael Seyer Official Facebook page

Michael Seyer Official Facebook page

Michael Seyer Official Facebook page

By Tyler Wyatt, Collegian Correspondent

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“Bad Bonez” is the second studio album from indie musician Michael Seyer of Human Sounds Records. The album embodies the “bedroom pop” trend that has been on the rise in recent years, spearheaded by acts such as Clairo, Rex Orange County and Boy Pablo. The accessible nature of the genre, defined by a lo-fi, groovy sound, is such that it democratically selects its stars. With “Bad Bonez,” Michael Seyer presents himself as a strong candidate to earn indie stardom.

With each track, Seyer invites the listener into his own introspective view of life. Lyrically, he discusses topics ranging from a pleasant vacation on “Weekend at Santa Cruz,” to the harsh realities of a child observing his father develop cancer on “Father.” The dreamy synthesizers, laid-back drum lines and hazy guitars are totally immersive and provide a sense of continuity to the listener. Many of the tracks blend genres such as jazz, soul and rock together in their composition and instrumentation.

One shortcoming of this album is that Seyer really does wear his influences on his sleeve. Fellow Long Beach musician Shane Blanchard, more commonly known as Bane’s World, for whom Seyer plays guitar for in live shows, has a dreamy garage-pop feel that stylistically rubs off on this project. Other clear contemporary influences include the music of HOMESHAKE and Mac DeMarco.  However, in a genre dominated and defined by simplicity, Seyer shows an attention to detail in his production and composition that builds a unique, authentic identity to his music.

Between Seyer vocally announcing his guitar solo on “Ring Around the Rosie,” in a contrastingly melodramatic and slick way, or highlighting every word in the hook of “Show Me How You Feel (Eros)” with a burst of wah-wah’d guitar notes, the musician incorporates a number of eccentric and fun elements that differentiate him from his contemporaries. The attraction and intrigue of his music comes from these musical idiosyncrasies. They create an effect that is unique to his music, an introspective quality that’s hard to nail down and keeps you coming back for more.

Seyer has produced an album that is capable of skyrocketing to the forefront of the indie scene. He has the connections, he has the brand, and now, he must build the fanbase. His streaming figures are relatively low, with only one track reaching a million streams on Spotify. However, he was able to sell out of his first run of cassettes on Bandcamp in 12 hours, indicating that the appeal and interest is there. I expect to see more attention gravitate toward him as this album continues to ripple through the indie community.

It is worth noting that Tyler, the Creator reached out to Seyer after finding his music on SoundCloud. Tyler, a known culture cultivator, has propelled acts such as Rex Orange County and Kali Uchis to the international spotlight by featuring them on his own projects, with both artists featured on tracks off last year’s “Flower Boy.” The two wound up being featured in the same all-star lineup at a show at The Observatory in Los Angeles that included other bedroom pop icons like Steve Lacy, Bane’s World, Clairo and Inner Wave.

“Bad Bonez” is a step in the direction of stardom, and Seyer has a lot working in his favor, but only time will tell if he will be able to stake his claim in the growing independent fanbase. I hope to see Seyer branch off from his role in Bane’s World and go out on tour as an independent artist in the coming future. 

Tyler Wyatt can be reached at [email protected]

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