Baumer’s story begins late ‘03 in Columbia, SC with guitarist Kenny McWilliams, who was working in his garage-studio on a low-key solo project. McWilliams invited Nate Boykin down to his studio to try out some vocals over his project; the results were favorable and the two soon began collaborating and recording demos. However, what started as mellow acoustic guitars and lounge beats morphed into upbeat, dance-able rock. The more McWilliams and Boykin worked together, the more they began surprising themselves. “It wasn’t like anything we had done before,” says Boykin. “We didn’t really limit ourselves and we didn’t really have an agenda.”
What they did have was even better. Boykin’s exceptional voice and pop-sensibilities combined with McWilliam’s fluent beat programming and guitar work fostered a somewhat dark, infectious brand of pop music. As McWilliams explains, Baumer’s peculiar, dark hooks are the result of his collaboration with Boykin. “I went through this whole stage where I didn’t listen to a bit of pop music,” says McWilliams. “When Nate and I first started working together, I was like anti-pop, and Nate comes in and he has a really good pop sensibility. The two of us working together is kind of what produces that because he writes some dark stuff too but a lot of that is me.”
However, the pair wanted more: they wanted to make their studio project into a real live band. McWilliams turned to former band-mate Caleb Weathersby to add live drums and voilá, Baumer was ready to rock. Baumer played its first show as a trio in May ‘04, later enlisting bassist Chris Corley as a permanent member of the band.
Baumer then put together a self-released, self-recorded CD, the debut of which was celebrated by a much talked about CD-release party in their hometown. A chain reaction began.
An ally of the band put a call into New Jersey based Astro Magnetics, a label owned and operated by the team at Eyeball Records (which includes Thursday front man Geoff Rickley). The people at AM were fed a taste of Baumer via Internet; the label perked its ears and asked for more. Before long AM was totally hooked on Baumer and a relationship was formed. For its first official release, Baumer polished up the tracks from it’s self-released debut, wrote a few more, and enlisted mega-producer Mike Shipley (The Cars, Def Leppard, Devo) to mix the epic Come On, Feel It.
While essentially Baumer’s freshman effort, Come On, Feel it is in no way immature. Baumer have made an album as cohesive and concise as anything by a band with twice its experience. Boykin’s confident vocal inflections soar over tasteful arrangements that combine a perfect balance of drums, synths, guitars, and electronic beats. Furthermore, if Baumer’s infectious melodies don’t become ingrained in your head, the lyrics sure as hell will. “It doesn’t have to be perfect like a movie scene / Love is almost always accidental” sings Boykin in “Denoument,” a song that is both observational and heart-felt.
However analyzed, Baumer is nearly impossible to ignore and will turn any living room, office or car into an instant party. So, turn it up and get your dancing shoes because Baumer is red hot, and Come On, Feel it is an unstoppable album.