Vampire Weekend’s Baio releases two more singles lifted from his third solo album Dead Hand Control out on January 29 via Glassnote Records.
Dead Hand Control and Take It From Me are now available to stream across all platforms.
Dead Hand Control takes its name from a rumoured Soviet missile system designed to obliterate America, and a legal strategy for attempting to control the beneficiaries of your will after you die.
“Dead Hand Control is a song about anxiety and the limits of control,” says Baio. “I was thinking a lot about how, as a musician, I have control over what a recording is, but that once I put a song out into the world, I no longer control its life.”
“That’s essentially what the chorus line is saying – “Dead Hand Control / You can take my life but you will never take my soul” – you can do whatever you want to me, but the things I’ve made will, hopefully in some way, outlast me.
“I’d like to give a special shoutout to Jazz Ambassador Robby Sinclair for his absolutely heroic improvised drumming on the back half of the song. I filmed the video on my phone at home during Los Angeles’ second stay-at-home order.”
Take It from Me explores the idea of being there for a person from a simpler perspective.
“Take It from Me is an attempt at writing my version of a children’s song or a standard. Like many songs on Dead Hand Control, it is about being there for the people in your life to the fullest extent you can. It’s a song based around a very simple idea: you can take whatever you want in the world, so long as you take it from me.”
The album was recorded over 18 months at Damon Albarn’s 13 Studios in London, and in Baio’s personal C+C Music Factory, which he founded with Vampire Weekend bandmate Chris Tomson in Los Angeles.
Baio wrote all the songs on the album with the exception of O.M.W., the nearly 10-minute long closing ballad written in collaboration with Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig.
The record features a small cast of collaborators, including 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 long time engineer John Foyle and mixed by Lars Stalfors.
Words by Paul Clarke, you can see his author profile here.