Aidan Baker Already Drowning

Aidan Baker Already Drowning
8
Aidan Baker's latest release, Already Drowning, combines his musical expertise with his love for literature. Guest female vocalists on each track sing lyrics influenced by folktales, among them Philip K. Dick's The Dark-Haired Girl and A.S Bayatt's Possession. Despite less of a focus on the avant-garde and more on crafting a song arc, his work as one half of doom/metal/electronic project Nadja shines through in much of his solo efforts, where multi-instrumental arrangements contrast with signature electronic elements. Baker's omnipresence is felt throughout the album as he weaves in and out with a lucid array of field recordings and instruments. The powerful addition of strings to the sombre aura ("30 Days/30 Nights") is juxtaposed with operatic vocals. "Tout Juste Sous La Surface, Je Guette" begins with haunting strings and Genevieve Castree's lilting voice and then a looped guitar riff, percussion and synth accompany Castree into a slow ascension, with the help of strong, fuzzed-out distortion and an increase in volume and speed. The quiet/loud dynamic heard throughout gives a relaxed nod to the likes of Portishead and Slowdive's Souvlaki. The difference here is the restraint with the electronic elements, placing them as soft whispers in the background, which give way to a strong focus on melody. (Gizeh)