Featured Artist – Chris Ayer

July 31, 2013

We’re featuring New York singer-songwriter (and McLean, VA native) Chris Ayer. For Chris Ayer, learning the guitar at 18 would eventually change his world, leading him into the path of becoming the musician he is today. He awaits the release of his upcoming record “The Noise”, composed of tracks he has worked on for almost two years now. We spoke to Chris about his roots, inspirations, his upcoming record, and more! Get to know Chris Ayer below.

We are pumped to have Chris Ayer be a part of the stream of concerts that FNDTN & Buncearoo will be hosting. See him perform live this Saturday (8/3)! Tickets still available here: www.buncearoo.com.

When did you realize that music was the path you wanted to take?

Music was always a big part of my life growing up, and I definitely remember fantasizing about the possibility that I could perform and write songs that people would ever listen to. When I started playing guitar at 18, I became pretty fixated on writing songs, and I would go to open mics throughout college whenever I could, eventually leading into playing shows around campus, and the bay area in California. By the time I graduated, it was completely the center of my focus, and I knew I wanted to keep at it, and see if I could make a go at it. By then I knew I’d be writing and playing for the rest of my life, whether it payed the bills or not! So in that sense, the more I did it, the more I knew I wanted to keep doing it.

What musicians inspired you to become the singer-songwriter you are today?

Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Leonard Cohen and a whole bunch of bluegrass have been big influences ever since I can remember my parents playing music around the house. Those folk, songwriter, and bluegrass traditions are definitely the musical dna that I aspire to, and that kind of subconsciously sneak into my writing and choices, in that way that you can’t really control. On a more contemporary level, Amos Lee, Josh Ritter, Ray LaMontagne, The Weepies, and Ollabelle have definitely been among recent acts that have been very inspiring to me as writers and performers. And beyond that, the community of musicians I have met both in New York and on the road have been major inspirations to me, either through collaboration, or just seeing them play their tunes. Friends like Matt Simons, Adam Barnes, Sierra Noble, John Schmitt, and Nathan & Becky in Barnaby Bright have all taught me a lot, and there are so many others.

Brooklyn, NY and McLean, VA are considered your hometowns – does location at times influence songs you write or compose?

Definitely! It’s hard to track exactly what effect each place has, as the influence of the song is usually equally sourced in some old experience that is coming to the surface.. but where I am definitely has a lot to do with that. And in terms of style, I think maybe being in New York sometimes brings about songs that have either a more alternative or rock vibe, or more complex musical elements.. and being in Virginia brings a lot of the folk stuff out, which just feels really natural as a style to write in… I have no idea why that is! Hmmm…

You have an upcoming record coming out called “The Noise.” Could you talk about it a little and what fans can expect from the album?

Yes! This is a record I can’t wait to release. It’s been a project i’ve been working on for almost two years… I decided to produce it myself, with my friend Will Hensley who also mixed and engineered it. He was assistant mix engineer on some of my favorite sounding records of the last 10 years, including 2 Coldplay records, 2 Regina Spektor records, and John Mayer’s Continuum, and I trusted him so much in his approach to mix, and how that influenced both of our arrangement choices… and we were able to get Bob Ludwig to master the album, who is just the godfather of all mastering, it was crazy exciting.. all that freed me up to spend a good amount of the album’s budget on building a home studio, where I basically could just experiment with instruments and arrangement choices for months and months, seeing how to build these tunes, that had mostly been born on acoustic guitar. We could also take the rig to peoples houses, so for instance we were able to record my friend Todd Caldwell, who plays with Crosby Stills & Nash, in his apartment in the west village, where his beautiful grand piano and hammond organ are taking up most of his living room – it set the tone where we could really take our time, and then trust ourselves to take our hands off of the song or part when it felt finished.. I love the last 2 albums, that I made pretty quickly with some wonderful folks in Nashville, but it felt great to do it differently this time, and try to get more specific about the influences and sounds I wanted to bring into my music. that’s a long answer, but basically, I feel like I got a more folk, rooted, sometimes theatrical vibe, with a whole bunch of elements that bring little odd moments of personality to the tunes.. I also got to record vocals in my apartment, which made for an honest feel that I’m really happy we were able to reach

What can you tell us about the creative process – from songwriting and recording – for “The Noise”?

I think the last answer covers the recording part, and then some! But for the songwriting, most of these songs were written after I got off tour for my last album “Don’t Go Back To Sleep” in 2010. It was weird process, where I worked and worked , and drove a few 100 thousands miles, and kind of wondered where I had ended up by the end of it all. During the two years of making, releasing, and touring behind that album, I had a full team of people come together to work with me, and then all disappear over the course of about 5 months. Some were my fault, and some where a natural progression, but the net effect was pretty surreal and hard to swallow. I definitely learned a lot in that time! Add a difficult end to a relationship, and a whoooole bunch of songs come out pretty quickly! A good friend of mine somewhat jokingly said to me during that time, that he’d love to hear what happened if I didn’t hide behind words, and tried to tell the truth in as scary a way as possible. That actually was a huge influence for me on the writing of this record – it feels like the direction the songs took – I hope that shows to people when they hear it!

You post weekly youtube videos of songs you perform live in one-take – what inspired the idea to do these as often as you do?

I had the idea to do something like this for a while, where instead of hyper-producing the tracks in protools, we went with an essentially uneditable style where we have a stereo microphone, that captures whatever happens in the situation.. so you get all the background sounds, and the way that one time I played it sounded.. It took a while to find a filmmaker who was into the idea, and could really nail the camera style I was hoping for, and just make it their own.. But Sacha Cesana has done that in a really beautiful way, and i’m so thankful he’s into the project longterm, and keeps coming up with video styles and shooting and editing choices each week, mostly on the spot! The reason I went with weekly, was to try and make a whole bunch of content that i felt strongly about creatively.. as much as we all like to complain about how it’s hard to get seen or heard, and how much distracting silliness is involved with self-promotion, especially on the internet, I really felt like just making stuff and trying my best to share it,felt like the best way to spend my time, in the in-between phase between finishing the album, and being able to release it. I will switch to every two weeks in january or february probably, and focus more on each video, bringing in a band, and different friends singing, maybe do a music video or two for new songs, over the course of early 2013.. I don’t know!

You play at our new venue Foundation Gallery & Liveroom, this Saturday in Kensington. What do you look forward to most coming to area to play a sort of hometown show?

Yeah, I’m excited about this one! I love any show when people come out to be a part of it actively, and get involved in the songs and the show, but it’s especially exciting and surreal to come home and play to folks who have known my music in some cases for over 10 years, mixed in with people I went to High School with, or lived next door growing up… it’s kind of a ‘this is your life’ type moment, and I’m excited to play at Foundation for the first time, and get to share this type of acoustic night with new and old friends in such a cool space.

Who are you guilty pleasure musicians at the moment?

In the poppier realm I have been listening to a LOT of Fun. and any dance-pop song that Sia sings the hook on. But I think she’s amazing, and so are Fun… so it’s not really guilty I guess!

Thanks for talking to us at Pick-Up! Any last words for the readers?

If you got this far through all my talking, you deserve a prize! Unlimited high fives at Foundation Saturday, we can even make up a high five dance. It’ll be a thing.

For more information on Chris Ayer, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @chrisayer, and check out his videos on youtube.

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:49 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted December 7, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink


  3. Posted December 9, 2016 at 1:39 am | Permalink


  4. Posted December 9, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink


  5. Posted December 13, 2016 at 1:02 am | Permalink


  6. Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for providing individuals with remarkably spectacular possiblity to check tips from this site. It really is very lovely and packed with amusement for me personally and my office colleagues to visit your blog no less than 3 times in 7 days to read the latest items you have got. Not to mention, I am certainly fulfilled for the astounding inspiring ideas served by you. Some 2 areas in this posting are in fact the most efficient we have ever had.

  7. Posted March 12, 2017 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I not to mention my pals came digesting the nice items on your web blog while all of the sudden came up with a horrible feeling I never expressed respect to the blog owner for those secrets. All of the women are already consequently very interested to read all of them and have in effect in fact been tapping into those things. Thanks for truly being considerably thoughtful and then for pick out this form of superior things millions of individuals are really desirous to know about. My personal honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.

  8. Posted March 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I together with my friends have been following the best tips from your site and so the sudden I had an awful suspicion I never expressed respect to the blog owner for those secrets. All the men had been so excited to learn them and already have pretty much been loving these things. Thank you for genuinely simply considerate and also for having these kinds of superb areas millions of individuals are really desirous to discover. Our sincere regret for not saying thanks to earlier.

  9. Posted March 13, 2017 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I am glad for writing to make you be aware of what a beneficial experience my wife’s girl found using the blog. She came to understand such a lot of details, not to mention what it is like to have a marvelous helping mood to have others with ease completely grasp various very confusing subject areas. You truly exceeded my desires. Many thanks for presenting those warm and friendly, safe, explanatory as well as fun tips about that topic to Jane.

  10. Posted March 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    My husband and i felt so thrilled Peter managed to deal with his researching from your precious recommendations he received through the web site. It is now and again perplexing just to choose to be making a gift of information and facts that many some others could have been making money from. And we all consider we now have the website owner to appreciate because of that. The most important explanations you have made, the straightforward site menu, the relationships you will give support to create – it is all astounding, and it’s facilitating our son and us understand the concept is pleasurable, and that’s very vital. Thanks for the whole thing!

  11. Posted March 14, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I enjoy you because of your own work on this web site. My aunt really loves engaging in investigations and it is obvious why. We know all of the dynamic ways you provide priceless guides on your web site and improve contribution from some others on this situation so our favorite simple princess has always been studying so much. Enjoy the rest of the year. You are conducting a very good job.

  12. Posted March 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for each of your work on this blog. My aunt enjoys working on investigation and it’s really obvious why. A lot of people know all relating to the dynamic medium you render very helpful guidelines via your web site and therefore strongly encourage response from people on this point so my girl is now understanding a whole lot. Take advantage of the rest of the new year. Your performing a useful job.

  13. Posted March 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to put you that very small note to say thanks over again regarding the great strategies you’ve shared in this case. This has been remarkably open-handed with people like you to present unreservedly what exactly a lot of people might have supplied for an e-book in making some cash on their own, especially considering the fact that you might well have done it in the event you decided. The good tips likewise served to provide a good way to understand that some people have the identical interest just like mine to grasp lots more with regards to this matter. I think there are thousands of more enjoyable moments in the future for individuals that take a look at your site.

  14. Posted March 16, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I simply wanted to send a quick comment so as to appreciate you for all of the great facts you are posting at this site. My time consuming internet investigation has now been paid with reliable strategies to exchange with my company. I ‘d believe that many of us website visitors are extremely lucky to be in a useful community with many marvellous individuals with useful tips and hints. I feel really grateful to have used your website and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.

  15. Posted March 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    This really answered my problem, thank you!

  16. Posted March 16, 2017 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with such a remarkable possiblity to read articles and blog posts from this site. It is often very terrific and full of amusement for me personally and my office peers to visit your blog minimum three times weekly to study the new things you have got. And indeed, we are always fulfilled with all the magnificent solutions served by you. Selected 2 ideas in this post are unquestionably the best we’ve had.

  17. Posted March 17, 2017 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for providing individuals with an extraordinarily nice opportunity to read in detail from here. It really is very lovely plus stuffed with a great time for me and my office fellow workers to visit the blog at a minimum 3 times in a week to find out the newest items you have got. Of course, we are at all times happy with the brilliant knowledge served by you. Certain 1 areas in this post are in truth the simplest I have ever had.

  18. Posted March 17, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    I wish to express some appreciation to you just for rescuing me from such a circumstance. Right after scouting throughout the search engines and finding concepts which were not powerful, I believed my entire life was done. Living without the presence of solutions to the difficulties you’ve fixed through this website is a crucial case, as well as those that might have negatively affected my career if I had not encountered your website. That mastery and kindness in touching all the details was valuable. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come upon such a subject like this. It’s possible to at this point look forward to my future. Thanks so much for the impressive and results-oriented help. I won’t hesitate to suggest your web site to any individual who would need direction on this subject matter.

  19. Posted March 17, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I actually wanted to develop a simple remark in order to thank you for all of the fantastic tips you are giving out on this site. My rather long internet search has at the end been rewarded with high-quality ideas to go over with my co-workers. I ‘d say that many of us site visitors are very much blessed to exist in a magnificent network with so many lovely individuals with great principles. I feel very much privileged to have encountered the site and look forward to plenty of more amazing minutes reading here. Thanks once again for everything.

  20. Posted March 18, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    My wife and i ended up being very relieved that Chris managed to complete his research by way of the precious recommendations he grabbed in your blog. It is now and again perplexing just to possibly be making a gift of things which usually people today may have been making money from. Therefore we do understand we have got the writer to give thanks to for this. The main explanations you have made, the easy website navigation, the relationships you give support to instill – it’s mostly unbelievable, and it’s facilitating our son and our family reckon that this matter is awesome, which is unbelievably fundamental. Many thanks for all!

  21. Posted March 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I precisely desired to thank you so much all over again. I do not know the things I would’ve taken care of in the absence of the techniques revealed by you concerning that question. It became a very intimidating crisis for me, however , finding out the very expert fashion you resolved the issue forced me to weep with fulfillment. I will be happier for the support and in addition hope that you are aware of a powerful job your are doing instructing the mediocre ones using a site. I’m certain you haven’t come across all of us.

  22. Posted March 18, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    My husband and i felt quite comfortable when Raymond managed to complete his basic research from your precious recommendations he discovered out of the weblog. It’s not at all simplistic to just find yourself giving freely methods that some others could have been selling. We remember we’ve got the writer to be grateful to for this. The main illustrations you’ve made, the simple site navigation, the friendships you will aid to engender – it is mostly spectacular, and it is aiding our son and the family reason why that idea is awesome, which is really vital. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  23. Posted March 19, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I am only commenting to make you understand what a remarkable encounter my wife’s princess went through using your webblog. She realized plenty of things, including what it’s like to have an awesome teaching mood to let men and women clearly grasp certain very confusing topics. You really exceeded my expectations. Many thanks for supplying the priceless, healthy, explanatory not to mention unique guidance on this topic to Janet.

  24. Posted March 20, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Needed to write you the little remark so as to give thanks once again with your incredible thoughts you have featured in this case. It has been quite wonderfully open-handed with you to make extensively precisely what many individuals could have sold as an e-book in order to make some money for themselves, even more so seeing that you might have tried it in case you considered necessary. The strategies additionally served to provide a fantastic way to realize that other people have the identical dreams just like my very own to find out a whole lot more related to this matter. Certainly there are lots of more pleasant occasions in the future for those who looked over your website.

  25. Posted March 20, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you a lot for giving everyone an extraordinarily superb chance to discover important secrets from this web site. It can be very excellent and stuffed with amusement for me and my office mates to search your site more than thrice per week to see the latest issues you have. Of course, I am just always fascinated considering the great knowledge served by you. Certain two ideas in this posting are indeed the very best we have all had.

  26. Posted March 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I am only writing to let you understand of the nice discovery our child developed using your web site. She came to understand plenty of issues, with the inclusion of what it’s like to have a wonderful giving heart to let folks effortlessly learn specific tricky things. You really did more than people’s desires. Thank you for offering those effective, trustworthy, explanatory as well as cool guidance on the topic to Evelyn.

  27. Posted March 22, 2017 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    I wish to show some appreciation to you just for rescuing me from this particular instance. Just after surfing throughout the the web and obtaining proposals that were not powerful, I was thinking my entire life was gone. Existing devoid of the solutions to the issues you have sorted out by means of this post is a crucial case, as well as the kind that might have negatively affected my career if I hadn’t discovered your website. The competence and kindness in maneuvering all the details was very useful. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a thing like this. I’m able to at this moment look forward to my future. Thank you very much for this specialized and sensible help. I won’t be reluctant to propose your web sites to any individual who desires guidance on this topic.

  28. Posted March 22, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I enjoy you because of your entire effort on this blog. Gloria enjoys getting into research and it is easy to see why. My partner and i hear all relating to the lively tactic you create valuable guidance via the web blog and therefore strongly encourage participation from people on the concept plus our daughter is always starting to learn a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You’re carrying out a fantastic job.

  29. Posted March 22, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I am commenting to let you be aware of what a useful discovery my princess undergone going through your web page. She picked up too many things, with the inclusion of how it is like to possess a very effective giving style to have many people really easily learn about a variety of grueling topics. You actually exceeded my desires. I appreciate you for offering such precious, trusted, edifying and also unique tips about this topic to Lizeth.

  30. Posted March 23, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I happen to be commenting to make you know what a amazing encounter my cousin’s girl encountered going through your webblog. She mastered a good number of things, not to mention how it is like to have an amazing helping spirit to make the rest with no trouble learn about specified advanced subject matter. You really did more than my desires. Thanks for delivering those interesting, safe, edifying not to mention easy tips about that topic to Ethel.

  31. Posted March 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for all of your hard work on this blog. Ellie really likes conducting internet research and it’s really easy to see why. Most of us know all regarding the lively means you create very helpful information by means of the blog and in addition inspire participation from some others on that issue then our favorite child is in fact becoming educated a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You are performing a first class job.

Leave a comment. Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *