Standout Track: No. 1, “Hear, My Dear,” from Petworth’s Baby Bry Bry, aka 23-year-old Bryan Gerhart. The opening song of the five-track Is It Anything or Is It Everything? EP is a two-chord bedroom-pop charmer that features a rap section by D.C. MC Parabellum. The song is also built on surprising source material: “[A] sample of a plunky little drum beat by Crass that I was totally mesmerized by and a slowed-down Devo line that I’d intended to use back when I was making beats for a rapper in New Orleans,” Gerhart says.
Musical Motivation: Gerhart cites The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, and Glenn Danzig’s rich croon as inspirations for the overall project, but “Hear, My Dear” comes from another source. The brief song is an introduction to the EP’s love-gone-wrong theme “in the same way that Marvin Gaye’s intro to [his 1975 LP] Here, My Dear acts as a summary and roadmap of the rest of that album,” Gerhart says. Parabellum’s verses are like CliffsNotes for the EP’s lyrical content. “It was amazing how instantly he understood what I was trying to do with the song and project.”
One Isn’t the Loneliest Number: Gerhart recorded the bedroom-pop EP mostly on his own, but the live version of the group, Baby Bry Bry and The Apologists, is a different animal that lies “somewhere between The Nation of Ulysses and Prince,” he says. “Everything’s louder, faster, fuzzier, and scuzzier…No matter how cutesy and poppy my songs might be, playing them without ripping them apart and freaking out seems, well, boring.”
Listen to “Hear, My Dear” after the jump.