Croy & the Boys Cut The Covid Tapes
New song “Boy Weren’t We Something” premieres here
By Doug Freeman,
1:35PM, Mon. Apr. 6, 2020
Corey Baum’s a songwriter of his times. His band Croy & the Boys’ sophomore album, 2019 release Howdy Hi-Rise, took a topical take on the current state of growing up and getting by in a rapidly growing Austin amid the hypocrisies of gentrification and the nation’s social disparity.
No surprise, then, that Baum’s taken to quarantine by penning a jaunty and biting ode to the current crisis with “I Ain’t Been Tested,” plus an entire cycle of new songs he’s dubbed The Covid Tapes: A World in Croysis.
To record the album, the bandleader recruited longtime collaborator Michael Pierce, who ran cables out of his house and set up mics on the back porch. The result captures a solo acoustic set by Baum, allowing the songsmith’s rich voice to highlight “Boy Weren’t We Something” and his cover of James Hand’s “Over There That’s Frank.” The new material courses with ambient sounds (birds in the background) even as its author lays into familiar, no-holds-barred critiques including “Heroin Town” and “Fuck ICE.”
“I had four songs I wanted to try and record that I thought I could release as singles throughout the next month or so, but I got through those pretty quickly, so we just decided to keep going,” offers Baum. “I didn't really have a plan or set list or anything, and just played songs as they came to me. All in all, I was probably out on his porch for about four hours. I wasn't planning on making it an album or anything, but I listened to what he had done and liked it, so I thought, ‘What the hell.’
“As for the song selection, it was kind of random at the time, but it does feel like there's a thread weaving through it,” he continues. “I have two or three future Croy & the Boys albums sort of planned out and partly or mostly written, so most of these songs come from those and they'll still get the full band treatment on record some day.”
You can watch Baum perform “I Ain’t Been Tested” on the Croy Boys’ Facebook, and check out the premiere of “Boy Weren’t We Something” here. The latter feels particularly poignant right now with venues closed, ringing in nostalgia for the glory of a hometown band.
The full album is available for purchase on the group’s Bandcamp, and streams across most platforms beginning Friday, April 10.
“As of right now, this is going to be a digital release only,” says Baum. “I'm really enjoying this weird moment where the entire music industry is forced to be DIY! Everybody is figuring out for themselves how to livestream, how to record at home, and it's really cool. So the spirit of this release and this moment for me is one of creativity and freedom from the pressures of a ‘music career.’“I’m doing what I want creatively right now.”