Release Date: Apr 8, 2016
Record label: Talk Show Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop, Experimental Rock
Described as a 19-track collection of "musical postcards" inspired by travel across the United States, Bill Baird's Earth into Aether is a thematic selection of material from across the eclectic musician's post-Sound Team solo output, including that of his quasi-band moniker Sunset. Adhering to themes of travel, arrivals, and departures, it delves into the songwriter's more picturesque terrain while still representing his typical mélange of styles, touching on psychedelic pop, country, and electronica, all under an umbrella of melodic lo-fi. Highlights include the trippy, organ- and delay-suffused "Your Dark Sunglasses Won't Make You Lou Reed" ("or even Doug Yule") and the infectious, guitar- and horns-fortified "24 Karat Soul.
This is a trip in every way. When it begins, one might be forgiven for worrying that the pretty Elliott Smith-like noodlings might wear over the duration of the double album. But four songs in, when somnambulance takes hold, the bedtime lullabies cease and the real full-on helter skelter dream kicks in with Dear Friend (Falling Domino), a klezmeric, Beatles-esque beauty.
Bill Baird has been plugging away since the start of this century, as a member of Sound Team, under the Sunset nom de plume, and as a solo artist. His third solo record is a sprawling, expansive thing – 78 minutes long – that’s almost like a psychedelic journey through the day. From a gentle beginning, it slowly builds up momentum, concluding with a trio of sombre instrumentals and a Velvet Undergroundish ballad, Dreams of Sandy, that takes its vocal melody from Big Star’s Kanga-Roo.