When Chris Baio sat down to work on his third studio album, Dead Hand Control, he was circling bleak topics.
Namely: death, and nukes.The record takes its name from a rumored Soviet missile system designed to
obliterate America (“Dead Hand”), and a legal strategy for attempting to control
the beneficiaries of your will after you die (“Dead Hand Control”). Yet this is not an
album about annihilation. Instead, Baio zigzags joyfully between techno, art rock
and a dash of funk, exploring what it means to care for one another in a society in
upheaval.

“The starting point of the record was extremely dark,” says Baio. “But I wanted to
make something that was ultimately romantic and hopeful.”
For Baio, who is also the bassist for the Grammy-Award winning band Vampire
Weekend, examining the most nihilist and human aspects of American life is a
recurring impulse. His previous album, Man of the World, which Paste Magazine
called “the album we need” for the moment, served as a deft reaction to the global
upheaval of 2016.

Dead Hand Control reflects the evolution of this distinctive musical voice. “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.”

Get the latest from ATC Live