Release Date: Jan 29, 2021
Record label: Glassnote Entertainment Group
Lifting its title from the name attributed a covert Soviet missile system capable of levelling the US, Dead Hand Control is set one-minute to midnight on the Doomsday Clock while new wave and dance numbers erupt at the seams. A jarring prospect, perhaps, yet a formula BAIO has readily and consistently applied: carrying predecessor Man Of The World, framed as such by the death of Bowie and the rise of Trump, with electro-pop-pivoting layers boldly coating the sombre nature of its subtext. Familiar influences continue to shuffle through the New York native's material, deviating from form in a cycle of songs jolting between standard three-minute and extended formats.
When Vampire Weekend's Chris Baio released his second solo album, 2017's Man of the World, his strutting synth pop was clouded by the anxiety of the previous year's elections in his native U.S. and adopted home of the U.K. Arriving in 2021, the title of his third Baio LP, Dead Hand Control, refers to an automated Soviet-era missile system (Dead Hand, aka Perimeter) still rumored to be operational decades later.