Album Premiere: Matt Baker – ‘Human Nature’
Posted: by The Editor
Matt Baker is a skilled multi-instrumentalist hailing from the New Jersey coastline (a seemingly infinite well of good music). With careful attention to detail, he expresses technical prowess on a variety of different instruments and styles while maintaining a consistently catchy rhythm. His new alternative/post-rock record, Human Nature, is as variable and unique as the title suggests. The project – especially the first few songs – remind me of Gates’ first full length, Bloom & Breathe. There’s a ton of layering in the harmonies and the guitars that give each track movement.
Baker has listed influences such as Jeff Buckley, Deftones, and instrumental project Explosions in the Sky, leading to a “classic yet contemporary sound.” He’s also described much of Human Nature as relating to the cosmic sense of being (a very Gates thing to do): “I think this album is pretty unique in that no two songs sound alike. The main inspiration for it came from my fascination with human consciousness and Zen, particularly Alan Watts. Watts talked about how a human being is not limited by what’s inside their skin. We are the universe experiencing itself through our own lenses. Our relationship to the universe inevitably became the theme of the album; our daily struggles, our fear of the unknown, loneliness, grief, ego, time. How to somehow find peace in this fast-paced world.”
I think what hooked me about this record besides the composition and technical instrument work is that the concept really meshes with the music. It’s one thing to propose a big cosmic thinkpiece, but another to provide an appropriate soundscape for it to exist in. Projects that achieved a similar congruency between sound and theme come to mind, like Prince Daddy & the Hyena’s Cosmic Thrill Seekers and Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Baker stated that “Another huge influence on the album was Roger Waters, whose voice you can hear on the bookend tracks of the album. His view of the world expressed on Dark Side of the Moon resonated with me from a young age.”
Human Nature will be available to stream everywhere tomorrow. If you like what you hear, consider pre-saving or ordering it here.
Luciano Ferrara | @LucianoRFerrara
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