Baio Shares Two New Songs: “Dead Hand Control” and “Take It from Me”
Dead Hand Control Due Out January 29 via Glassnote
Jan 15, 2021
Baio (Vampire Weekend’s Chris Baio) is releasing his third solo album, Dead Hand Control, on January 29 via Glassnote. Now he has shared two new songs from the album: title track “Dead Hand Control” and “Take It from Me.” The former was shared via a video for it. Check them both out below.
Baio had this to say about “Dead Hand Control” in a press release: “‘Dead Hand Control’ is a song about anxiety and the limits of control. 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.”
Of the other single, Baio had this to say: “‘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.”
When Dead Hand Control was announced, Baio shared its first two singles, “Endless Me, Endlessly” and “What Do You Say When I’m Not There?,” via videos for the new songs. “Endless Me, Endlessly” was one of our Songs of the Week.
Baio released his debut solo album, The Names, in 2015 via Glassnote, and released his sophomore album, Man of the World, in 2017, also via Glassnote.
Dead Hand Control was recorded at Damon Albarn’s 13 Studios in London and Baio’s C+C Music Factory studio in Los Angeles (founded with Vampire Weekend bandmate Chris Tomson). Baio wrote all the songs on the album himself, except for the near 10-minute long closing track, “O.M.W.,” which was written with his Vampire Weekend bandmate Ezra Koenig. According to a press release, the album’s title comes from two sources: “Dead Hand” is the name “a rumored Soviet missile system designed to obliterate America” and “Dead Hand Control” is “a legal strategy for attempting to control the beneficiaries of your will after you die.”
“I was looking at the past five years of American life and obsessing about topics like death, wills, and nuclear war,” Baio says. “But at its heart, it’s about how the only thing you can control is the way you treat the people in your life.”
Also, read our 2015 interview with Baio about The Names.
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