Image: Pooneh Ghana.
Synth-pop master BAIO is back with his third studio album, Dead Hand Control. Recorded over 18 months at Damon Albarn’s 13 Studios in London, as well as BAIO’s personal C+C Music Factory, the record is a remarkable showcase of the musician rich vocals and intricate compositional skill.
Exploring what it means to care for one another in a society in upheaval, the genre bending release moves between techno, art rock and a dash of funk, taking its title from a rumoured Soviet missile system designed to obliterate America and the strategy implemented for attempting to control the beneficiaries of ones will. The musician wrote all the tracks himself, with only one collaborator on O.M.W.. The ten-minute long closing ballad was composed in collaboration with artists Vampire Weekend bandmate, Ezra Koenig. Other collaborators on the record include BAIO’s long time guitarist George Hume, drummer and State Department Jazz Ambassador Robby Sinclair, Future Classic’s Buzzy Lee, and VW touring member Greta Morgan, on backing vocals. The album was made with BAIO’s longtime engineer John Foyle and mixed by Lars Stalfors (St. Vincent, Still Woozy).
Speaking of the conceptual nature of the record, Baio shares.“I was looking at the past five years of American life and obsessing about topics like death, wills and nuclear war,” he says, of the album's origins. “But at its heart, it’s about how the only thing you can control is the way you treat the people in your life.”
Having played bass in American rock band Vampire Weekend since 2006, BAIO is the solo musical project of Chris Baio. Venturing out on his own in 2012, Baio has since released two studio albums, The Names in 2015 and Man of The World in 2017. Taking inspiration from electronic and dance music, the critically acclaimed records have cemented Baio’s place as a skilful producer and songwriter.
Dead Hand Control is out now! Watch the title tracks music video below.