Vancouver native and electro-psych-rock producer Maarten Bayliss knows first and foremost how to lay down a beat. He’s dabbled in remixes, the occasional film score, and most recently has released the titular track, "People Are Patterns," off his first full-length LP. It begins in a swarm of percussion—a hollow pattering you would associate with a speaker throbbing, soon joined by a soft idiophone rattling. The effect is hypnotic and ominous, like a growl of thunder in the distance. There’s a build here, and we can quite literally feel it. The video is centered around a rocky, man-made jetty stretching out into the water—the sky overcast, with just a glimmer of red sunlight on the horizon. Bayliss’ voice is imbued with a sort of swirling strain, “How can you move on / When you’re staying in one place?” he asks, in a slight rasp, never looking at the camera. He’s focused, intently striding towards the water, as he continues, “It’s not okay / ‘Cause I don’t make change.”
What is he going to do? We wonder, as he continues seaward, stepping out of frame after climbing an elevated platform at the precipice. The camera lingers on the ripples in the water, a landscape sans Bayliss, and we wonder if he jumped—cast himself into the ocean, as the ultimate reaction to a rut. But then he casually strides back into view, past the camera lens, returning to where he started. We're left as voyeurs, watching him go as his snappy arrangement fades. People are patterns. Yes, biologically, mere strands of double helix. Also sociologically—our patterns of behavior. Whatever grand scheme Bayliss is referencing, he leaves us with a striking melody and stunning visuals, certainly hoping for more.