Exposé Online banner

Aidan Baker — Songs of Flowers and Skin
(Beta-lactam Ring mt165, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Songs of Flowers and Skin Cover art

Amid the bulk of BLR releases, to which such adjectives as “noisy,” “chaotic” and “abrasive” are regularly applied, it’s easy to forget that there’s a prominent thread of quiet, introspective songwriter releases as well. Brunnen (reviewed elsewhere this issue) and Aidan Baker are two examples. Like the Brunnen, this CD consists of older material repackaged and reissued. Misty atmospherics, breathy vocals, and minimal instrumentation are the main factors with this Canadian artist, but unlike Brunnen’s keyboard-and-voice arrangement, Baker often utilizes a more band-like lineup, with guitar, bass, and drums all self-performed (except in one case, which is an even earlier live recording). In spite of the overdubbed one-man-band setup, the music sounds very organic, more like separate individuals than the kind of click-track-in-headphones fussiness you might expect. Partly that’s due to the nature of the music, which is reverb-drenched and a bit morose, kind of like demos for a Projekt-label artist (only with male vocals!). The addition of guest players on trumpet and violin really fills out the sound, elevating the simple tunes to elegiac elegance. But when oh when will labels stop including extra songs as part of the last track after 20 minutes of silence? Completely annoying!


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Aidan Baker

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34: The Complete Trip – History: In 1992, Porcupine Tree was a little-noticed solo project of Steven Wilson. The first album had made little splash on the progressive psychedelic scene. Wilson decided to bring a little less...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues