London-based, New York-born nomad Baio has released his sophomore album Man Of The World. Inspired and mortified by the state of the world, Baio a.k.a. Chris Baio has crafted 11 tracks of groove-filled anxiety.
Baio is a man of the world himself, living and touring across two continents as a solo musician and with his band Vampire Weekend which he founded in 2006. But last year the state of the world came to the forefront of his attention, as Baio describes, “2016 began with the passing of my favourite artist of all time, David Bowie, and ended with me more fearful for the world than I’ve ever been in my life.” This was followed by Brexit and the U.S. election, two events that made Man Of The World necessary, “because it is about the unsettling feeling of being worried for the world itself.”
This anxiety is clear in Baio’s lyrics which are especially self-aware and relevant. Second-last track ‘Shame In My Name’ is a slow-burning, piano-led epic with the lines “I know Iʼm deeply privileged / To be losing just my mind / Iʼm fearful for the bodies / Of the vulnerable and kind.” Break-up track ‘PHILOSOPHY!‘ can be read in a similar way, with the line “No time for philosophy gotta get to the heart of the issue” sitting just as true with world politics as it does with any relationship.
Despite all of the unease, Man Of The World still sounds like a blissful pop album. Baio can craft boppy bass lines like no other, with layers of sizzling and chiming synths cradling his crooning voice over snappy dance beats. If all we need to remedy the world is a good boogie, Baio has provided the answer.