A radiant outpouring of cinematic, stunning indie pop, BAYEM’s debut EP ‘AFTERGLOW’ drenches the ears and uplifts the soul as the Indianapolis native introduces himself with undeniable passion and alluring energy.
for fans of The Weeknd, Carly Rae Jepsen, Michael Jackson
Stream: “Runnin” – BAYEM
Invigorating in the best of ways, BAYEM’s debut EP is both a joyride and a thrill: It’s the kind of record whose songs spark a fire inside, putting a pep in our step as we meet the day with renewed vigor and inspired enthusiasm. A radiant outpouring of cinematic, stunning indie pop, AFTERGLOW drenches the ears and uplifts the soul as BAYEM introduces himself with undeniable passion and alluring energy.
Simply put, music like this makes us feel more alive.
First off I’ve been waiting for you
To look around and see the signs
It may have been my intuition
But I knew that we’d be alright
Won’t you come into my life
You’re meant to realize
That everything you want is inside you
We will never fall apart
We danced long after dark
Left every bit of pain behind you
You wanna feel like I am the one that keeps you coming back
You got me runnin…
You wanna feel like I am the one that’s got you down so bad
You got me runnin’ for you
Released February 17, 2022, AFTERGLOW is true to its name as a wellspring of vivid sound and visceral feeling. The eight-track introduction to 23-year-old BAYEM sees the Indianapolis native diving headfirst into a dynamic, theatrical, and unapologetically honest arena. He channels his deepest emotions into sweeping gusts of wondrous sound, blending the worlds of neo-soul and electro-pop into a singular signature that reminds us of Michael Jackson, The Weeknd, and Carly Rae Jepsen at their best, albeit with a twist: BAYEM’s got his own charismatic bounce, poise, hunger, and flare, and he uses these traits to his advantage in creating something refreshing yet familiar, welcoming and sincere.
“The project was a unique experience as it all just fell into place,” BAYEM tells Atwood Magazine. “At the beginning of the process there wasn’t a “this is the project title and what it’s about” moment; in all honesty, there wasn’t really a topical vision going in. Between the previously released tracks and the demos we had, a consistent theme started to reveal itself. The goal with each song was to try something different and refine the process just that little bit more. The whole writing period was very open, with loose ideas of what each song was meant to sound like, and that provided the space to take each track in whatever direction it was asking to go.”
“After finishing the project, and giving it a full listen, the theme of a lost romance became clear. Afterglow is meant to encapsulate the feelings of that unique timeframe immediately after a breakup when the emotions are still very raw. Anyone who has been there can speak at length about the strange mix of positive nostalgia, and miserable existentialism that permeates the mind at that time.”
BAYEM has been actively releasing music since 2018, experimenting with sounds and styles that fit his spectacular, evocative voice and emotional songwriting. Earlier songs like “System” and Pressure,” the latter of which closes his EP, highlight the artist’s ability to meld turmoil or tension with evocative beats and affecting melodies.
“There are a range of different sounds on this project, and that was ultimately the goal,” BAYEM says. “I grew up a fan of a wide variety of genres, so to have some of them pop up in this project definitely feels special. All in all, I feel like this project opens the door to more possibilities visually and sonically.”
Can I stay another night
Stay another night
Or am I the one that you want gone?
Can I be the one you call
Be there for it all
Or am I just a boy toy, playing me
The joyride you got me on
It comes around when we’ve been low
Peace ain’t a fan of yours
You’re difficult, baby you’re difficult
Something about you now
You love to play inside my head
Drive me into the ground
You’re difficult, baby
Vulnerable, catchy, and cathartic, AFTERGLOW is an utterly irresistible collection.
The journey begins on “Joyride,” a scene-setting opener that is true to its name – despite the heartache within. “I know it started with the love that we once shared. So brokenhearted, thinking maybe you’re still there,” BAYEM sings sweetly over fat synths and pulsing drums. Just as one rollercoaster ends, another begins: “Runnin” dwells in moody synths and fervent grooves, crafting a smoldering soundscape that we can sink our full selves into. Milawukee hip-hop artist IshDARR helps BAYEM spice things up on “Thrill,” an achingly emotional and downtempo moment of brooding and reflection. Whether he’s lost in reverie (“Rush”) or soaring high on feelings of euphoric freedom (“Over U”), BAYEM fills every moment with intimate, impassioned vigor. His songs hit hard with stirring urgency; it’s a good kind of drama that keeps us coming back for more.
“My favorite lyrics are, ‘You dance inside the very depths of my heart,” from the song ‘Fallin Apart,'” BAYEM reflects. “I am a big fan of surreal ideas. Stuff like cosmic horror, dystopian fiction, etc. That lyric feels like it has the most surreal imagery attached to it.”
“I hope listeners find a song that resonates with them!” he adds. “The valuable music and life lessons tied to this project are something I cherish and will carry with me moving forward. The coolest thing about hearing these songs is reminiscing on the conversations that were had between takes about philosophy, the world as a whole, and the future we are headed towards. In my opinion, those moments are what truly make the process of creation special.”
His aching songs may not be “euphoric,” but BAYEM helps his listeners reach a special euphoria on AFTERGLOW.
Confident and composed, groovy and dazzling, this eight-song introduction sets a high bar from the outset. BAYEM doesn’t ask for our attention; he demands it, and we’re happy to lend him our ears for as long as he needs them. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside BAYEM’s AFTERGLOW EP with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his latest release!
Stream: ‘AFTERGLOW’ – BAYEM
:: Inside AFTERGLOW ::
“Joyride is a track that explores the rollercoaster ride of an unhealthy relationship. The upbeat production is meant to contrast the lyrics.”
“There are times, in the early stages of a relationship, where all signs point to two people being compatible. However, one of the participants may feel a sense of apprehension about whether their new partner is right for them, while the other is content with the relationship’s trajectory. Runnin touches on this situation from the content partner’s point of view.”
“When I graduated high school, I was really lost and unsure of who I was. My days were spent sleeping, and my nights spent rolling around my hometown high out of my mind. Thrill encapsulates this period of uncertainty and the range of emotions associated with it.”
“Over U touches on the feeling of power that comes after finishing a toxic relationship. The song is meant to embody that, ‘I am doing better without you’ feeling.”
“Rush is a track that really looks to modernize the classic romantic soul track. Some inspirations for this one were Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross.”
“Fallin Apart is meant to capture the level of vulnerability that sets it right after a tough break up. We have all had that, ”I don’t know what to do with myself right now” moment.”
“This song is very personal and can be applied to anything in our lives that always seems to act as a roadblock. For some it’s an ex, for others it’s an illness, or even a situation that has come and gone. The track centers around the frustration associated with feeling helpless.”
“Pressure is a song about just that, pressure. As we move through life and aspire to grow, new levels of responsibility are thrust upon us that may make us reminisce to a simpler time.”
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📸 © Lissyelle
:: Stream BAYEM ::