There I was, scrolling through various apps on my phone when I got a notification from a group chat I was in. My cousin Kayla gave me a song recommendation. It was “Jaspar Wildlife Assoc.” by a band named Bay Faction. Ever since I heard that song, I’ve been hooked to the band.
Bay Faction is a jazzy rock band with a splash of emo sprinkled in somewhere. But they call their music “post coital.” The band consists 3 members: James McDermott (the lead singer), Kris Roman (the bassist), and Alex Agresti (the drummer), who all came out of Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2014, they dropped an EP on Bandcamp called Jasper with a very cozy but meaningful sound — something you can play in your garage with a couple of friends and just blast it.
Their sophomore release in 2016 was a self-titled EP. This one kind of has a more solid sound, the band seems to have matured and found their groove in the music realm.
Here’s where I explain why you should listen to them:
Jasper is amazing nonetheless, but Bay Faction felt as if more doors were opened for listeners to really comprehend and get beneath the surface of their music and its meaning. Who doesn’t love music that you can analyze? This band offers a new view of rock, and how snares and guitar riffs can really affect a song’s sound. The rhythmic but subtle bass lines, piercing cymbals, and James’ smooth but unique voice will grab you by surprise and add a special flare to each track.
Bay Faction could be argued as a concept EP, mostly because the band took the theme of Jasper (who is actually the lead singer’s best friend) as an entity and rolled with it. Throughout the EP and up until the last track “Jasper Wildlife Assoc.”, Jasper is referred to as a person with lines such as “I’ll never hear from Jasper” and “Jasper said he saw you.” Most fans think the final track alludes to Jasper possibly being a hallucination or made up. With the band being pretty open ended about the meaning of their songs, listeners are able to come up with their own conclusions about who or what Jasper is. But there’s only one catch — don’t ask them “Who’s Jasper?” directly.
Overall, Bay Faction has been able to grab listeners with intriguing lyrics such as, “Now I’m stuck between a coyote and a cement wall” but also deep and meaningful lines such as, “I was expecting a love note on the mirror / But you wrote your own name in blood” and allowing us to come up with their own conclusions. If you’re ever on the hunt for a chill but rock band to listen to, Bay Faction should be at the top of your list.