Andrea Baker — Wild in the Hollow (Oct. 4, 2019)
♣ Celkově je album „Wild In The Hollow“ připomínkou toho, že věci skutečné hodnoty v tomto životě jsou pohřbeny hluboko, mimo každodenní život. To skutečné zlato musíme trochu kopat. „Tyto písně, podle mě, zaujmou říši posvátných,“ říká Andrea Baker. „Zamotají se do klubka se starodávnými věcmi, které se usazují hluboko v duši. V našem pocitu zlomenosti je krása. Přesto musíme udělat práci, abychom čelili tomuto zklamání a této naší zlomenost, abychom odhalili krásu. Pokud tyto písničky pomohou, aby byl tento proces o něco méně osamělý, trochu provokativnější a někome ulehčí břemeno, odcházím spokojená.“
♣ If these songs make engaging the brokenness in our stories a little less lonely, a little more provocative, and any less of a burden for somebody out there, then I’ll walk away satisfied. Admittedly, exploring the whole ragged, wonderful mess is even more rewarding when accomplished — together — over a good meal, a great glass of wine, and a few hours of compelling candlelight, should the situation so arise. Which I’d highly recommend if the opportunity presents itself! My wild hope really is that you’ll find these songs to be a mirror for exploring the story threads of your own life, in particular in conversation with friends or near ones around a table.
♣ Oh, and the title? The title is borrowed from a delicious little book of the same name, penned by a delightful individual by the name of Amber C. Haines. If you enjoy the stories you uncover in these songs, you may very well want to go grab her book. She’s a kindred soul, a wielder of evocative language, and an excellent weaver of the broken and the beautiful as well — but on the page. — Andrea Baker
Location: Seattle, Washington
Album release: October 4, 2019
Record Label: Red House River Music
01 Wild in the Hollow 3:26
02 Nice but Different 3:20
03 Stories 4:37
04 Dark Moon Lullabye 4:49
05 I Spy 3:40
06 Soldier’s Daughter 5:06
07 Shawneetown (feat. Bradford Loomis) 4:37
08 Cock~a~Doodle Ditty 2:32
09 Rag and Bone (feat. Malcolm Guite) 4:54
10 Magdalena 4:05
11 Chrysalis 4:52
12 How Deep the Father’s Love for Us 2:53
♣ Andrea Baker on vocals and piano,
♣ Brandon Bee on guitars, mandolin, banjo and synth;
♣ Mark Alvis on drums and percussion; and
♣ Aaron Fishburn on upright bass with
♣ Dan Tyack (Campbell Brothers) on pedal steel,
♣ vocalist Susan George,
♣ Cayley Gove on cello and vocals,
♣ Emma Hasselbach (5th Avenue Theater) on violin, and
♣ David Grisham on trumpet.
Posted on November 12, 2019. Score: 9/10
A masterpiece that needs to be heard
✹ If you want to hear of honesty through one person and their music, then ‘Wild In The Hollow’ would be a great place to start. This record bleeds truth and brings you right back to the basics of this world. Built through counselling sessions, conversations that came about in difficult fashion, and travelling around the north~west of America meeting new people, this record comes to us from the very heart of Seattle Singer/Songwriter Andrea Baker. The whole record feels very natural, portraying the nature of the North West.
✹ Title track ‘Wild In The Hollow’ opens the album up, Baker showing off her soulful voice, building intensity throughout. Baker’s contemporary country sound really opens her target audience up; you find traces of beautiful traditional country music mixed with some elements of modern “pop~country” (mainly the good elements, if there are any) to create a really beautiful sound. There are catchy uplifting moments in ‘Nice But Different’ and spine~tingling softer moments in ‘Stories’. Baker obviously has a great ear for writing melodies; each song sticks in your mind, but she doesn’t sell out for cheap catchy hooks; she keeps her melodies sophisticated and well thought out at all times, which really is refreshing. You know that throughout every song the attention to detail Baker has given her songs is second to none.
✹ ‘Dark Moon Lullabye’ introduces a darker feel to the album. Every note is thought provoking, Baker singing the words “don’t be afraid, the devil ain’t coming tonight” in the chorus. At this point you really start to wonder where Baker is in her story and what she’s trying to get across. Baker keeps this album completely up for interpretation and does a hell of a good job at it.
✹ ‘I Spy’ is full of sass and bluesy swagger, Baker’s voice seeping with attitude. The arrangement of this track keeps your attention throughout, the middle 8 drops down to an arpeggiated piano line, before building back into the chorus, adding to the attitude and swagger that this track is full of.
✹ The jazzy ‘Soldier’s Daughter’ is next. A cheeky track that you wouldn’t expect to fit into an album like this, but Baker seems to enjoy freshening things up a little bit which you cannot complain about. ‘Cock~A~Doodle~Ditty’ is on the same page as ‘Soldier’s Daughter’ taking us to a place we didn’t think we’d be going. This time we go back in time to between 1920~1940 with a punch up between ragtime, Dixieland and New Orleans Jazz. It shouldn’t really fit, but it somehow does.
✹ ‘Rag and Bone’ keeps your foot tapping before the melancholic trio of ‘Magdalena’, ‘Chrysalis’ and ‘How Deep the Father’s Love For Us’ bring the record to a close and a soft and touching note.
✹ You could almost mistake this album for the soundtrack to a musical or film. The way Baker uses instrumentation to portray mood brings the songs to life and allows them to tell a story musically. The ups and downs that this album presents you with takes you on a journey and opens your mind up to the stories that are being told.
✹ Andrea Baker gives us an alternate look at modern country in ‘Wild In The Hollow’, in a very similar vein to Alison Krauss. The arrangements, the instrumentation used, the lyrical topics and everything in between has been thought out so well. Baker’s voice holds a lovely country twang and she sings her songs so perfectly. You can finish this album and then listen to it straight after again and it doesn’t get old. The songs hold so much depth, that you will always find something new to appreciate.