Electronic music still continues to reign as one of my favorite genres and it has been another solid year for top notch releases. Highly anticipated albums by some of my favorites like Pretty Lights, Emancipator and Bonobo did not disappoint, but it is always rewarding finding an artist I was not previously familiar with to add to the list.
Andrew Bayer was born and raised in Washington, D.C., but until recently has been based out of Brooklyn. It appears now he is heading to London for a while but as he said on his Facebook page, "Going to be a nomad for a little bit." His debut album on Above & Beyond's influential label Anjunabeats, 2011's It's Artificial drew high praise in the electronic dance music world. Bayer has topped himself with one of this year's best electronic albums in If It Were You, We'd Never Leave.
This album is a journey, starting with a track called "Opening Act" and finishing with "Closing Act". Unlike a lot of electronic albums, there are not a lot of overly long songs here. Most of the 16 tracks clock in at the three to four minute range, but it keeps things flowing along nicely and gives things a cohesion instrumental albums sometimes struggle to find. Although Anjunabeats is most often associated with trance music, Bayer stretches out beyond such a restrictive label.
The music on If It Were You, We'd Never Leave draws from various forms of electronic music. "Let's Hear That B Section Again!", "All This Will Happen Again" and "Closing Act" are all gorgeous ambient/orchestral pieces, while tracks like "Doomsday" and "It's Going To Be Fine" delve into darker, glitchy territory. Then there are songs like "Echo" and "You Are" built around looped vocal samples and hip-hop beats, a very eclectic, engaging array of sounds.
"Lose Sight" samples from Ane Brun's cover of the Cyndi Lauper classic "True Colors" and is a highlight. As is "Gaff's Eulogy", a heart achingly beautiful cinematic track, full of strings and piano work. "Farnsworth Court" is yet another stand-out on an album full of them, truly fantastic from start to finish.
If It Were You, We'd Never Leave will appeal to you whether you like downbeat electronic, glitchier, hip-hop influenced music like that of someone like Pretty Lights, or a quieter ambient sound. It's all here and more on one of 2013's best. A stunning work by Andrew Bayer.
Favorite tracks: "Gaff's Eulogy", "Lose Sight", "Echo", "Farnsworth Court", "You Are"
If It Were You, We'd Never Leave was released April 22, 2013 on the Anjunabeats label.