Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Record Review - The Baker Suite

Published in the Shortlist section of the Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 15 November.

The Baker Suite
Your Dreaming Self
Independent / The Planet Company

Acclaimed Adelaidian duo The Baker Suite return with their fourth full-length cut, having lost none of their subtlety or playful songwriting prowess with the passing of time.

I say playful because, even though the music itself – largely driven by John Baker’s voice and simple acoustic guitar, and Gayle Buckby’s sparingly used accordion – is sparse and quiet for the most part, it carries itself jauntily, a skip in its sonic step, songs that burrow into your ear and stay there, long after the record is done.

There’s no one genre you can wedge The Baker Suite into, which has always been a large part of their appeal. On Your Dreaming Self they carry on this mixed bag approach, enlisting a number of fine guests in Shane O’Mara (who also produces) playing guitar and mandolin (the bluegrass-ish ‘Four Sisters’ a picker’s delight), Kate Ceberano on extra vocals, Paul Grabowsky on piano. The Zephyr Quartet fill the record with lush string sounds, rounding out a great effort from these quiet achievers.

Samuel J. Fell

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