Track-by-Track: BAYEM Embraces Life’s In-Betweens on Vaporwave-Inspired ‘OASIS’ EP

BAYEM © Owen Thomas
BAYEM © Owen Thomas
Indianapolis artist BAYEM delves into the warm, wondrous, and dreamy escape ‘OASIS,’ a vaporwave-inspired musical reverie marrying his seductive pop charm with life’s unavoidable churn.
Stream: “Enough” – BAYEM

The “Oasis” is that place, or moment in our lives that made us feel whole.

Ask fifty writers what “vaporwave music” means to them, and you’re likely to get fifty different answers back.

But ask them what an oasis is, and the unanimity is undeniable: We all seem to agree and understand that an oasis is the diamond in the rough, the needle in the haystack, and the serenity in the storm. True to its title, BAYEM’s new EP is a musical and emotional sanctuary; a safe space between past and present; a place of refuge; and a haven from life’s tumult and turmoil. The artist found inspiration in the music genre/visual art style/Internet meme/difficult-to-define “aesthetic” that is vaporwave, channeling that into a record brimming with passion, depth, raw emotion, and vibrant energy. A warm, wondrous, and dreamy escape, OASIS is a musical reverie marrying BAYEM’s seductive pop charm with life’s unavoidable churn.

Stuck in a feeling I wanted to know
See in your eyes that you wanted me close
Don’t run away going out in the cold
We might look back on us
And think that we rushed away
From everything we loved
When the moment does pass
We may just relax and wonder what it all was
‘Cause we are enough…
When we’re old and we’re grey
I know that I’ll still need your touch

Released July 25, 2023, OASIS is a radiant return from 24-year-old Indianapolis native BAYEM, who has steadily introduced himself over the past few years as a fresh voice and a vessel of powerful, absorptive pop music.

“Music like this makes us feel more alive,” Atwood Magazine wrote of BAYEM’s 2022 debut EP AFTERGLOW, going on to praise the eight-track effort as “a wellspring of vivid sound and visceral feeling”:

“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.”

“Post-Heartbreak Music”: BAYEM Basks in a Bold & Buoyant 'AFTERGLOW' on Debut EP


As catchy as it is cathartic, OASIS builds upon the foundations BAYEM established in his first EP, all while leaning even further into a retro-futuristic space.

Produced by BAYEM and Owen Thomas, the new EP is a stunning blend of artistry, emotion, and intent.

“From the beginning, the goal was to make a lo-fi, vaporwave project about memories, or the “in-between” places in life,” BAYEM tells Atwood Magazine. “As we got deeper into recording, the vision and criteria for the songs stayed mostly the same and maintaining that was one of our top priorities. -The concept is one that I had for some years now, but the timing never lined up. I’ve been a fan of vaporwave for years and have always been in awe of how flexible the genre is.”

OASIS retains some of what we did on AFTERGLOW, while also maturing other elements,” he adds. “The goal was for the project to be both a new sonic expansion, as well as a continuation and growth of what we’ve done musically up to this point.”

BAYEM describes the new EP, which consists of five standalone songs and a short thirty-second intro track, as “moody, reflective, and nostalgic.” The title, he explains, is incredibly deliberate and purposeful.

“An oasis is a fertile spot in an arid desert, and I feel like life is similar,” he says. “We spend most of our lives existing in these in-between phases, with moments of joy, belonging, and connectivity. The “Oasis” is that place, or moment in our lives that made us feel whole.”

BAYEM © Owen Thomas
BAYEM © Owen Thomas

Sure enough, the songs themselves find their own form of refuge, revelry, and even redemption: From the intimate fever dream “Enough” (with its heartfelt refrain, “We are enough“), to the spirited and soaring “Never Stop” and the achingly evocative and vulnerable “Sex,” BAYEM captures life’s little moments of magic – where time stopped for just long enough for him to appreciate who he was, where he was, and why he was there. Musical highlights also include the dynamic, brooding seduction “Weakness” and the expansive, cinematic finale “Remember,” which is itself an unapologetic embrace of a memory and moment in time: “You’re the one I can’t forget now, think about you in the sundown, you’re the one that I’ll remember most,” BAYEM declares in the song’s chorus, his voice a beacon of radiant, deeply emotive light.

“‘Weakness’ and ‘Remember’ are two of my favorites because of how they felt to record. Something about the day, time, and place that we recorded each individually just felt right,” BAYEM says.

Some of his favorite lyrics are also from “Remember”: “You evoke the words I knew, and a little bright spot may say they’re true. I’ve always found it very interesting how true feelings are often not expressed until they may no longer make a difference. This lyric almost felt like an admission of, ‘I never told you how much you mean to me, but now I understand that telling you may have changed things for the better.‘”

You evoke the words I knew
And a little bright spot might say they’re true
I see your face inside my mind
And I wonder ‘bout the life I left behind
Why don’t you tear my line up
Could it ease my mind up?
When you sleep at night, am I the one you wanna see?
Why don’t I come back to you
Live my life right through you
We know ourselves and what we’ll truly be
You’re the one I can’t forget now
Think about you in the sundown
You’re the one that I’ll remember most
You’re the one I can’t forget now
Think about you at the end now
You’re the one that I’ll remember most

BAYEM © Owen Thomas
BAYEM © Owen Thomas

It makes sense that “Remember” would serve as this EP’s finale, as the song itself is a kind of thesis statement for all those that came before. Oasis is a beautiful reckoning with the past – a journey whose self-reflections ultimately lead to a moment of acceptance, clarity, and understanding about the people, the places, and the moments that matter most in this life.

OASIS is an impassioned, stirring reminder to live in the present and embrace the fleeting life moments that pass us by all too fast.

From the smoldering, searing synth solo of “Weakness” to the pure, unadulterated, intimate heat of “Sex”; from the relentless drive and yearning pulsing through “Never Stop” and “Enough,” to the euphoric, cathartic release of “Remember,” BAYEM ensures his latest EP is not only a memorable journey, but also an inspiring adventure for all.

“I hope that listeners find something in the project that they connect with, whether it’s a whole song, or even specific lyric that evokes a nostalgic feeling in them,” BAYEM shares. “The biggest thing I’ve taken away is the sense of accomplishment and bolstered confidence. I now feel like any concept we want to tackle or bring to life, we can do it – and do it the way we want.”

BAYEM © Owen Thomas
BAYEM © Owen Thomas

This is the kind of music that moves you to be your best self, and it’s a testament to BAYEM’s talents that he can spur such introspection and growth in his art. And while the music community still can’t seem to get a consensus on what exactly constitutes as “vaporwave,” we know in our hearts that this EP captures the spirit, and the aesthetic, of that undefinable genre.

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside BAYEM’s OASIS EP with Atwood Magazine as he goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his latest release!

— —

:: stream/purchase Oasis here ::
:: connect with BAYEM here ::
Stream: ‘Oasis’ – BAYEM

:: Inside OASIS ::


— —


As we entered the last phase of creating OASIS, we wanted to make sure that the concept was truly nailed. To make that happen, we felt like a proper “liminal” intro was needed to kick off the EP and set the mood.


The song “Enough” started as a concept about a year ago and had been floating around for a while. When it was time to sit down and figure out what songs were in line with the concept of the EP, “Enough” instantly jumped out due to its vibe and topic.

Never Stop:

“Never Stop” was definitely a fun one to make as I hadn’t made a song this high energy before. The goal was to capture an almost out of control, maddening, rushing type of feeling that felt urgent.


“Weakness” was the first OASIS track that we finished. At the time we created it, we were just looking to make a hard hitting single. But as the vision became more refined, we found that “Weakness” fit into the aesthetic perfectly.


“Sex” had a pretty clear path from the beginning. It’s the moodiest of all the songs. When I initially brought the demo into the label, Owen and I agreed that “Sex” should be the biggest vibe on the project. This song was added to introduce more depth to the dark new direction we were going sonically.


“Remember” is my personal favorite on OASIS. From the time I first recorded the demo, the sonic worlds of Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel were at the forefront of my mind. The feeling of world music has always caught my attention, it’s so accessible and timeless. When the time came to record, it was clear that “Remember” could do battle as a world music song, as well as stay true to the sonic aesthetic that we were after.

— —

:: stream/purchase Oasis here ::
:: connect with BAYEM here ::

— — — —


Connect to BAYEM on
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Owen Thomas

:: Stream BAYEM ::

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