Download New Album: Tim Baker – Forever Overhead
Tim Baker comes through with a brand new smashing hot and dope studio album, packed with 11 amazing and solid entitled “Forever Overhead“. When you pack East coast venues with fans that holler your orchestral indie rock anthems to the rafters, how do you up the ante from there? If you’re Tim Baker, you confront that lofty glass ceiling by stripping it all back, as the frontman of on-hiatus Hey Rosetta! does on his debut solo LP, Forever Overhead.
No, this isn’t a nakedly barebones alt-folk album, à la Johnny Cash’s American Recordings or a ’90s MTV Unplugged session. Instead, Baker pares things down just enough to evoke his earliest influences: the Elton John, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne and Van Morrison LPs that his parents exposed him to as a boy.
Back half Forever Overhead highlights “Two Mirrors” and “Dance” both feature bouncingly melancholy keys worthy of Joel’s “Piano Man.” Hair-raising staccato bass notes and vivid lyrics about the “reckless running of your heart” will, meanwhile, spark memories of Morrison’s brown-eyed muse. And the threadbare, Celtic-tinged “Spirit” will win over fans of Jackson Browne and Cat Stevens.
Better still: when the climactic hand drums and high-pitched guitar chords of “All Hands” kick in. The sauntering, waltz-worthy rhythm and bellowing horns of “Hideaway” will also have you humming along. And then there are the thundering drums and sighing backing vocals of “Pools,” which will leave you swooning. Fun as it is to hear Baker tap into early influences on other tracks, these particular songs show him transcending those muses.
It all amounts to a solo debut that rises to Baker’s best work with Hey Rosetta! To paraphrase the title, this album captures Baker’s forever effort to reach a high bar, and his successful rise to the occasion. In celebration of the record, Tim reveals new song, “Spirit,” another ode to Tim’s formative life in St. John’s. “It’s about how the (incessantly terrible) weather of the city really gets inside you and affects you emotionally, but one way we as a people seem to protect ourselves from it – other than drinking and joking – is through music,” says Tim. “I never realized until I moved away that the sort of collective catharsis there is in shared music is something that happens all the time in Newfoundland. It’s something that almost has to happen, to get you up the hill so to speak. I’m grateful for it, because it has obviously shaped me.”
Previously released tracks “Dance” and “All Hands,” began to reveal the beautiful backbone of the album, and “The Side Door Sessions” provided an ultimate preview of how Tim road-tested and developed the tracks in some of the most unusual venues and homes across the country.
Intertwined in songs about human connections, Baker is in awe of nature and longs to renew his relationship with it. “Strange River,” a bouncy, piano-driven track, was inspired by Baker’s move from his home in St. John’s to a condo in downtown Toronto and sonically echoes the joy that nature provides while on “Our Team,” Baker muses about nature’s perseverance and he grins at birds maintaining their authority over land that will soon host another skyscraper.
Forever Overhead was produced by Marcus Paquin (The National, Local Natives) and features Liam O’Neill (Suuns), Ben Whiteley (The Weather Station), as well as Mishka Stein & Joe Grass (Patrick Watson).
Baker writes, “I always felt that I want to write about things that are really meaningful to me and also in a kind of oblique way, do good. If you’re going to commit your whole life to it, I think it should be about more than trying to be cool or something…which I’ve never been particularly good at anyway. This is the kind of song(s) you wouldn’t want to miss on your playlist.
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