Introducing Michael Baker

I’ve known of the music of Michael Baker for a while now, and during my visit to the Great Escape Festival I thought it would be a good opportunity to hear his music live. I expected him to sound good, but what he delivered was something far better, which gave me a new appreciation for his music. His set was mesmerising from start to finish as he delivered a performance that had a genuine honest emotion to it. Michael has the gift of really connecting to each song and delivering a wonderful sound that captivates the listener.

Before his set, I had the opportunity to have a quick chat about his music and his EP ‘Keys to the Kingdom’. The way he talked about his EP with pride and enthusiasm made me want to listen to it so I purchased a copy straight away. Before I give my review of ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ I want to share more information about this talented singer songwriter. Michael was kind enough to chat with me about his influences and more. This is what he had to say.

Who or what inspired you to become a musician and which musicians have influenced your sound?

Ever since i can remember i have wanted to write songs or thoughts down. When I first picked up a guitar i started using that to do so. Its always so hard to pin point what influenced my sound exactly. I listened to a lot of 60’s music like Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens & The Doors. More recently things like Bonobo, Bon Iver & The War on drugs have been very present in what i listen to.

I have also been around musicians and the music scene for a while now and can honestly say a lot of my friends who are on the scene have helped inspire and influence me a lot. Speakman sound who produced this first release are just gearing up to some really exciting releases themselves and really worth checking out.

Your music has an honest feel about it, is this quality important when you write new songs?

To be honest its not something that is intentional. When i write a song most of the time i have no idea what it is about until i reflect and listen back. In its performance i try to give it everything i can. Music for me is emotion and i try to give it that.

Talking about writing songs, which is you favourite song you have wrote and why?

Off this record i think its ‘leaving it all’. I recorded that track by just laying down the guitar and vocals live and we built everything from there. It was a real moment to hear that one finished. I wrote that track about about leaving your home to pursue success in the city. I imagined growing old and returning to that town to grow old. It is loosely based around my grandad who lived in a beautiful mountain town in France.

If you were headlining a world tour which two musicians/bands would you choose as your support?

I would love to go on tour with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver just because i really have been such a fan of so many things he has been involved with and produced…

& second, i went on tour last summer with a band called Common Tongues, They are just in the lead up to releasing there album and there all great friends. Tour with them involved is always a lot of fun & there music is fantastic too.

What are you future plans and goals for your music?

There’s a brand new video single for my track ‘Emotion Pictures’ From the current E.P. that is going to be released soon. Its my first hand-drawn animated video & made by Director Gary Roberts who also made the video to ‘Leaving it all’.  After that I am producing my first full L.P. which has something that has been in the pipeline for a fair few years and almost finished. The record is much bigger than the last so i really can’t wait to get it out there and share it. And then… we shall have to see.

Let’s get straight to the point, I am a HUGE fan of ‘Keys to the Kingdom’! I can totally understand why Michael talks about this release with such pride as well he should. What he has created is an EP that reflects the emotional attachment to his music which I heard during his gig, this gives it a wonderful personal feel about it. You get the impression from listening to this EP that it has been given time for it to come together and grow naturally.

I can’t help but repeat the word ’emotion’ when describing this EP as it is so integral to what makes the release stand out head and shoulders above the music crowd. When listening to the vocals, the music and even in the lyrics, it is so clear to feel. Let’s talk about the vocals, when Michael sings it is difficult to not pay attention as his gentle tone is so inviting. It is also very impressive when it intertwines with the vocal abilities of Georgia Mason who guests on a few songs including a the highlight track ‘Leaving it All’ which stood out for me at the gig. When they sing together, the harmonies were beautiful to listen to.

Throughout the EP you are treated to a wonderful acoustic sound with some highly impressive musical arrangements that add so much depth to the music. This supports my favourite element of Michael’s song writing ability which is his way with words. Here is a musician that puts everything into his music and it really shows within his lyrics. It is as if he is putting his soul out there on display. When you listen to my favourites songs ‘One Fist’ and ‘Caroline’ you will understand what I am trying to say.

‘Keys to the Kingdom’ is a serious contender for my favourite release of the year and it will take a lot to match this standard that has been set. Head over to his Soundcloud page (click HERE) to listen to this must hear EP in full. If you feel the same way about his music as I do then you can grab a digital copy of his EP from the usual online stores like ITunes and Amazon. If you are lucky enough to see him perform his music live then you are in for a treat and you can also grab physical copy of his EP while you are there.

I genuinely can’t wait for new music from Michael as I am curious to hear how his music will develop. I’m confident that it will continue to get even stronger. If you want to learn more about this talented musician then you can visit his Facebook or Twitter pages.

Musicians like Michael need their fans help for them to continue what they love to do, create music. To do so, you need to spread the word about the must hear music that matters to you and also to purchase the music (this is to help fund future music projects). So go on, tell the world about the amazing music by Michael Baker today!