21ST OCTOBER / KEYS TO THE KINGDOM RECORDS / SOUNDS GOOD
Dust & Bone is the debut album from singer-songwriter Michael Baker. You may have seen the review of his single ‘The Steady & The Stuck’ a little while ago, and seen that it was very much enjoyed by our eardrums. It’s well layered sound was full of solid acoustic chords, soaring harmonies and equally rich synthesisers to produce something that was compelling as it was impactful, and we’re hoping this is something that follows throughout this new record too.
Fortunately this formula is maintained as the title track featuring Georgia Mason sees Michael shift from a standard “one man and his guitar” intro into a collage of acoustic and electronic elements with a strong male/female vocal dynamic. Tension builds as drums collide lightly against the cutting synths while harmonies begin to swell with confidence as things progress, resulting in a rather hard hitting sound.
Even when material is stripped back they sound great. Tracks like ‘Half My Love’ showcases Michael’s ability to cultivate the airwaves simply through his voice and guitar, and while there are hints of harmony in the background the spotlight is primarily on Michael’s voice, which leads the way into producing a very rich sound full of warmth. It’s a lovely song, and sets up nicely for similarly stripped back tracks like ‘Pulling the Strings’ and ‘Slowly’.
Dust & Bone is a great record from Michael Baker. It’s a perfect listen for those wishing to add a little light and warmth to their wintery evenings, and provides enough variation for the record to remain fresh with repeated listens. It has it’s mix of well crafted, layered tunes as well as the slow burners and the heart grabbers – all in all creating a very well rounded and complete listening experience. Nice work.