Baltimore-raised, LA-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter Baird today shares his latest single, “Beluga Baby,” the second track to be lifted from his forthcoming project, BIRDSONGS Vol 2. coming out October 20th via EQT Recordings (JPEGMAFIA, Masego). Listen to “Beluga Baby” HERE and watch HERE.
Equally informed by 80’s Brazilian pop artists Gilberto Gil and Marcos Valle as it is by Tyler, the Creator’s IGOR, “Beluga Baby” blends a Bossa nova-flecked guitar groove and a collage of pattering handheld percussion with leisurely West coast synths and grainy drum machines. As on lead single, “Chasing Deer,” Baird connects these disparate influences and styles through a common vibe in his out-of-time and place musical world. The soundtrack to a nomadic existence, “Beluga Baby” is breeziness personified.
Of the new track, Baird shares that: “’Beluga Baby’ is a love song I wrote to a car. Last spring, my friend lent me her ’98 Subaru Forrester to use for the summer. She was living in NYC and I drove the car (named Beluga) down from the city to Baltimore. I had recorded the guitar lick in my voice memos and after playing around with it in my studio room, I came up with the hook. When I wrote the last line, it dawned on me that the song might as well be written to my partner for the summer, the car. I imagined a world in which I lived in Los Angeles and rode around in Beluga with the radio blaring.”
Inspired by an eclectic range of genre-melding musical auteurs like Jai Paul, Arthur Russell, and more, Baird wrote and recorded BIRDSONGS Vol. 2 himself, blending together warped Ableton beats, loose guitar licks, and poems from his journal. His forthcoming project is an amalgamation of those assorted electronic and acoustic sounds with much of the project’s sonic diversity being attributed to the variety of locations across which it was made, the music absorbing the surrounding locales like a sponge. After graduating in 2019, Baird spent the summer at home in Baltimore crafting the initial ideas for the project while simultaneously working as a Spanish-English translator for an immigration attorney.
As the summer came to a close, Baird was finishing up Roberto Bolaño’s “The Savage Detectives,” which inspired a move to Mexico City. There, Baird lived above a bustling restaurant, spending countless afternoon hours immersed in the music of Brazilian guitarist Luiz Bonfá, boleros groups Los Tres Ases and Los Panchos, and 80’s Spanish synth-pop, taking weekly guitar lessons from a busker whom he met on a night out, playing in the streets at night with friends in exchange for tips, food, and mezcal. As his nose became accustomed to the smells of the restaurant below, his ear became accustomed to the sounds of the city – the calls hailing from street vendors and the symphony of guitars played by Mexico City’s roaming street musicians. Much of BIRDSONGS, Vol. 2 was written there, reflecting the vibrant nightlife and restless adventures of Mexico City.
To put the final touches on the project, Baird moved from CDMX to LA, where he worked alongside his brother and trusted collaborator Gabe (aka Goldwash). Gabe has been Baird’s closest musical collaborator since their Beatles cover band when Baird was just six years old and with the quarantine setting in, it felt like the right time to lock in and finish the project by his side.
BIRDSONGS, Vol 2. TRACKLIST
2. Chasing Deer
3. Grace (Interlude)
4. Beluga Baby
6. Lo Que Tuvimos
7. Etude Blue