April 20, 2009

Bill Baird

Joining Weathervane along with East Hundred this month is {{{SUNSET}}}, the recording project and band of prolific singer-songwriter Bill Baird. Hailing from Austin, TX, Baird first came into the spotlight as a founding member of Sound Team, the once on-the-verge group signed to Capitol Records and opening for the Arcade Fire. But when 2006 saw the band going their separate ways, Baird switched his focus to the solo work he’d been pursuing on the side. After self-releasing {{{ SUNSET }}} and its instrumental companion, Silence!, in December ‘06 - and with the help of some friends - his once-side project began to take shape as a new band, taking its name from his early LP.

Releasing two albums in 2008 (Bright Blue Dream and The Glowing City), the project has gradually earned a reputation for its beautifully crafted lo-fi tracks, its ambitious dance between genres and styles, and its transcendence of earthly perspective. Praised as modern psychedelia at its finest, somewhere at the crossroads of “melodic pop bliss and twisted backwoods folk” (Exclaim Canada), Baird’s recent work is the kind which stops you in your tracks, blindfolds you, spins you around, turns you inside out and then strips the blindfold away to reveal a new world around you. Or rather, the same world, except now you’re seeing it through a prism of sound and light in which nothing looks quite the same. Baird’s DIY ethics and stripped down take on modern life make for a refreshingly clean feel, the kind of music which longs for headphone listening and live performance and leaves you feeling a little closer to the ground by the time you’re done - in the best way possible.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Baird describes {{{SUNSET}}} as a project “still very much in its formative stages, [which] will probably remain that way for the duration of the project.” The dynamic nature of his approach to songwriting leads to an always-evolving sound, one constantly reaching for its true shape yet never settling in one form. 2009 sees the limited release of Loveshines II, the band’s 7” single featuring the title track - two live band performances stacked to create one layered recording - and “I’m Not a Perfect Person (Looks Like I Fucked Up Again),” a stripped down, Baird-only track. The release has caught the attention of many in the blogosphere who hail the work as genius, original, and bizarre, and has turned many watchful eyes towards Austin to see what’s coming next.

And we’re so excited to welcome {{{SUNSET}}} to the studio this week! They’ll be recording their Weathervane Project with producer Quentin Stoltzfus (Mazarin, Flashy Python, Blood Feathers, Apollo Sunshine). Look for its release in June!

For more on {{{SUNSET}}}, visit sunsetswebsite.com.

And for more on Bill Baird, check out blondebill.com.

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