Soap operas, daytime dramas and ad breaks, Andrew Bayer is here for you. Should you not view his shoulder as a convenient one to lean on, prospects await from hitting notes and making feelings clear in all the right, digitally delicate places. The D.C. thought-processor’s chopped beats of “Opening Act” and trip-hoppy brinkmanship of the gnarled “Doomsday” show the follow-up to It’s Artificial is not all sentiment and schmaltz. From an assertive start though, Bayer is never gonna be a badboy.
Seeing the light, he analyses deeper and steadily starts staking out ambient pastures, using piano nostalgias (“All This Will Happen Again” suspending time with the most simple, emotive arrangement) and orchestral, widescreen designs, whirling around your nodding head until they form a halo. The levels of chill-out he achieves go from back-to-mine session with a little bit of the evening’s buzz still going round the room, to meditative stretches that only alone time can do justice to, mixing togetherness and sole/soul contentment, and the sentiment of whatever’s passed, tomorrow is a new day. Bayer also makes you understand his placement on Anjuna, converting trance power into a rolling, eyeball-moistening shimmer.
Valuable as a soft background hum or towering top-of-the-world declaration, putting feet back on the ground once chillwave starts to beckon is crucial to the album’s outlook, taking care of those who can’t quite shut off when downtime calls, and waking up those who’ve drifted away.
File under: Slacker, Underpass, Boom Jinx