"A crooner for our times..."-Wallpaper
"Literate and limber...a twilit bridge between sincerity and tounge-in-chic."-XLR8R
"A retro romo romp through a New York ghost world that is neither the drainpipe-and-denim sweat pile of CBGBs nor the mirrorball glitz of Studio 54 but somewhere in between."-Uncut
Baby Dayliner (AKA Ethan Marunas) was born and raised in New York City, and went to LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, and the Performing Arts, also known as the "FAME" high school. His undergraduate study was done at St. John's College in Annapolis, MD. After varying roles in various bands, Marunas decided to take the stage as a solo act. He became deft at synths, samplers, and recording, and began crafting songs that would come to life as the Baby Dayliner stage show.
INFLUENCES: Marunas' first big sonic influence was classical music that his parents and private teachers fed him as a child violinist (age 7-17). Later came jazz and hip-hop records. Strangely enough, his first pop music love was Hall and Oates, which he listened to alongside Kabuki theater music and other diverse sounds.
RIYL: Serge Gainsbourg, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, New Order, David Bowie, Daft Punk, The Smiths, Stephin Merritt.
(inspired by The Tris McCall Report www.trismccall.net)
Baby Dayliner is a performer
The crowds at his shows are filled with a variety of night dwellers: curiosity-seekers and punk rockers, the creative and the created, musicians and artists, pop fetishists and thugs. They've watched the previous few acts with their arms crossed in the familiar stand-offish way, but now bodies are in motion. It's involuntary, they're swept away--these are the very last people you'd ever see cutting loose at a show, but here they are not afraid to show they love it. Supremely in tune with his audience, head back, singing with passion, fury, and ruthless intelligence, crossstepping, smiling wide, and squeezing every drop of meaning out of each syllable. All arms in the air now! Shouts and whistles. The crowd is dancing in a frenzy of recognition and pure excitement, and Baby Dayliner is whipping them to do more. He turns, he shakes, he croons and shouts over thunderous beats and bass. One man, one machine in supreme synchronicity. And now everyone is in thrall to the delirium of the moment. Is this the encore? Nah, friend, the show's just started, and it's the closest thing the jaded New York scene will ever have to a homegrown Beatle-mania. Baby Dayliner has arrived.
Baby Dayliner is a writer
His songs are supremely literate--drawing from a formidable lexicon and an enormous repository of storytelling strategies. His intelligence is never on display for its own sake; instead, it's a tool for communicating sophisticated narratives. Some of the songs are missives, many are descriptive, and almost all contain indelible, inspiring and unforgettable language. He juxtaposes rap hyperbole and the sarcasm of the noveau bohemians with the language common to the New York nightlife--all of it sung to the delight and identification of the local crowd.
Baby Dayliner is a producer
He understands his machines and knows how to coax out of them maximum excitement. He's a pop song fabricator of discarded parts and pieces, which make his songs continually surprising in their melodicism and composition. There are elements of mid-80s synthpop, European post-punk, 70s disco, top 40 radio, and underground rap. There are hypnotic synth pulses, rafter-rattling choruses, new romantic moods and often a unique, polished style of hip-hop and dance production that could easily earn him rotation on commercial radio.
Baby Dayliner is a revelation
He plays maximum rock'n'roll hangouts in front of punk crowds, hip-hop crowds, folk crowds, hardcore crowds. He regularly follows bands with formidable wattage (Scissor Sisters, The National, Trans Am). Yet when he opens his mysterious suitcase, turns on his gear, and walks to center stage, he inevitably proceeds to move the crowd, open eyes, and blow minds. He broadcasts tropes and language from rap and disco in settings where neither rap nor disco are typically heard, but he sells it every time, without condescending to either form. He is bravely building bridges, doing profound theoretical work, all the while getting busy and never forgetting to entertain. Fundamentally he is a communicator, one who makes sure you hear every syllable he sings-and his ever-growing audience hangs on every syllable. Baby Dayliner is by no means the only one-person act to come on the music scene of late, but he is by far the most intelligent, the most multi-faceted, the most syncretic and single-minded. By relentlessly challenging his audience, by taking the lead and daring the crowd to follow, he makes a profound impact on every room he plays. But now I've said too much. This act is brilliant, and it encapsulates all the best New York City music has to offer...
Come see for yourself.
Baby Dayliner is a favorite of some of NYC's best artists. Aesop Rock, The National, Blockhead, and The Giraffes are frequently in the audience at his shows. The Giraffes' guitarist, Damien Paris, appears on several tracks. Actor and musician Adrian Grenier (Entourage; The Honey Brothers) drums on the song "Silent Places."
"Critics Pass Away is the first disc in a long time I can listen to front to back with no complaints and no fast-forwarding. No really, this is the kind of record I wanna plagiarize. I have yet to find someone who doesn't love it."-Aesop Rock
"Baby Dayliner is a rare fearless original. This brainy record is jammed full of heart and moxie. It's a dance party for sexy intellects."-Matt Berninger, singer, The National