Self-Isolation Led Ex-Rossonian Singer, Paul Babe To His Most Touching Work On “Lasso”

A little more than two years ago, Rossonian was regarded as one of Denver’s marquee bands. Named after the famed Five Points hotel, the alt-rock group’s chapter officially came to a close mid-2018, though it had slowly begun deteriorating a year prior. Each member set their sights on going their separate ways at its conclusion, some leaving Denver entirely. Lead singer, Seth Evans was one such member — shipping off to Brooklyn, picking up the Paul Babe moniker in the process. A slew of devastating events preceded the move. Rossonian and side projects spoiled, the loss of a close friend and the resulting malaise —  Evans faced the impending doubt and self-isolation in a brand new city, not entirely different from that of the existing coronavirus situation.

The music that would comprise Evans’ new pseudonym was born a couple of months prior to his relocation. Following the death of Tyler Despres, who was a member of Science Partner, whose record Evans was on board to produce, Evans took a trip to a remote corner of northeast Iowa to take care of his relative’s log cabin while they were away.

“The most intense period of isolation I actually had was during a little writing/recording trip that I took to northeast Iowa a couple of years ago. It was actually there that I started recording some of the sounds for ‘Lasso’ and finished the lyrics. I had never been in that remote of a location completely alone for anywhere near that long. I started to understand how someone could lose their mind. I understood it as a concept before but I think I really started to see and feel that going crazy might not actually be that hard to do.”
Fortunately, Evans kept his sanity, but his Paul Babe material sat dormant for months. It wasn’t until Evans returned to Colorado for an impromptu visit that he was able to return to the project, connecting with Denver funk provocateur, Joseph Lamar and his main Rossonian collaborators, Kramer Kelling and Carl Sorensen. However, while progress was tangible, Evans still suffered to move forward as an artist amid the absence of familiarity and dealing with the emotions of the past two years — but he pushed forward.
“I really don’t want to sound like a complete downer but I carried all these feelings with me to Brooklyn and definitely kind of isolated myself in my apartment here. I had lost a lot of faith in myself and making music started to feel painful and kind of sad. Those feelings are something I have had to work on getting rid of and all the negative, judgmental thought processes that had developed along with them. It kept me from going out and meeting people here and even really giving a shit about trying to play live. I had been bartending and serving (up until lockdown) at a little Italian joint in Williamsburg which I am grateful for but also started to get lost in and feel a little like a failure honestly. I’m still having a hard time with a lot of these things but it’s getting better. Somehow while paddling though my own personal river of shit and isolating in my little hole here in Brooklyn, I managed to get through recording all the songs for what will eventually be the debut Paul Babe album.”
“Lasso,” the first taste of the Paul Babe project, is a culmination of his solitude turned solvent. The premise is that of reclusive romance, a grappling affair of tenderness and touch, even when it’s out of reach. Warm basslines meet the tidal movements of sparse but intentional chords made to feel at home in a studio apartment — understanding that space is precious and how to make the most of it. Singing of being “caught up in your lasso,” Evans seduces even if his ultimate desire is simply company.  In that sense, “Lasso” is a precious moment of personal admission and undoubtedly Evan’s most innovative work to date despite the circumstances surrounding it. While “Lasso” pulls you in, the feelings therein are compelling enough to stay.
**Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that Seth Evans as half of Science Partner, that is incorrect, he instead, was set to produce their forthcoming album.