ABOUT

M.E. Baird is an Australian singer-songwriter, musician, and visual artist.  

He was also once an educator and academic in art, design, and architecture.  Originally from Melbourne, he has lived in many places since, each a new chapter in life and art.  For the last decade, he has called the Bundjaliung Nation (New South Wales) Home.  

 

 M.E. Baird has overcome countless setbacks, obstacles, loss, grief, and battled with many a mental demon throughout his career and life. For the last two years, he has been negotiating COVID while at the same time undertaking treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Nonetheless, M.E. Baird has never been one to be easily defeated with creativity and making art laying at the heart of his resilience. 

 

 

SONGWRITING AND MUSIC

M.E. Baird approaches his songwriting and performances with rich skill and artistry honed over nearly three decades of writing and performing and has been credited for having an intuitive and deep understanding of musical language combined with lyrical intent. His elegantly crafted songs when delivered with his distinct voice entwined with his transfixing guitar melodies reach far beyond the surface and right to the human condition.  Therefore, there is no surprise nor a coincidence that his songs have often been described as possessing a distinct visual richness and depth where each song can be like a cinematic vignette full of elegance, beauty, and longing.

 He has written and recorded five critically acclaimed solo albums, several Eps, contributed to compilations, including soundtrack credits, and recently the inclusion of two tracks in a USA-based PBS production.  He has toured extensively and shared the stage with some of his most admired artists such as Roland S Howard, Spencer P Jones, Ed Kuepper, and Chris Wilson.  In more recent times, especially being unable to tour due to COVID and cancer treatment he has been working on multi-media and audiovisual projects combining his visual art and music.  Writing songs and revisiting a long-form writing project that has laid dormant for some time.   

 

His latest two albums Fall (2016) and Time (2019) chronicle his extraordinary life experiences with loss, grief, and mental illness over the last decade, including very personal observations on the grubbier and darker side of what is to be human.  'Fall' and 'Time' also constitute the first two albums in a trilogy of single-word titled concept albums. The third and final album is now in early production but yet to be given a title.  Stay tuned.

'TIME' (2019)

M.E Baird's most current release is a lyrical and sonic journey through age, experience, and a testament to the passing of 'time'. The tracks on this album individually explore varying and contradictive subtexts ranging from belonging, not belonging, corruption, migration, fortune, misfortune, contempt, loneliness, and the joy of being alone. The album has received glowing four-star reviews, airplay, and global recognition. The album was co-produced, arranged, and recorded with producer/musician, Jamie Trevaskis. Jamie and M.E. Baird had mused for some time about recording a new album together, with Jamie playing a leading and creative role in the co-production of the album. When recording began it became instantly clear that Jamie, as a collaborator was able to transport the songs sonically into a universe far beyond the ordinary. 

 

It was important for the song's narrative to tell Jamie where the song/story needed to go sonically. Where a song needed to be tough, it had to be threatening, where it needed to be honest, it needed to be candid, where there was tenderness, it must be achingly forgiving and where there is, anger, it's uncompromising. It was creatively vital that the album not pander to any genre, audience, or expectations, of course, there are some hat-tipping and influences evident; it would be arrogant to pretend otherwise. Both Jamie and M.E Baird wanted to show that it is an album born of maturity, rigour, determination, and patience. 

 

With this album, there was a return to how M.E Baird made records in the past. All tracks were recorded to analogue tape, predominantly live and with very little overdubs. This was done not for nostalgic reasons but for a more 'authentic' audio representation. It also places more emphasis on musicianship rather than software know-how and digital trickery.

 

'FALL' (2016)

In 2014 M.E Baird wrote and recorded an eight-track solo album his third long-player, entitled 'Fall'.

The album was a deeply personal exploration and a huge turning point in M.E Baird's attitude towards and about what it is to be a songwriter and performer in a new era of digital noise. He proclaimed that songwriting needed to be more thoughtful, more erudite and attending to concept rather than fashion or a sentimental re-representation of a bygone era of songwriting. The album was also to represent a period of great loss, grief, and mental hardship for M.E Baird. Leading up to the writing and recording of the album he was to lose his Nephew Jeremy who at eighteen months his junior was like a brother to him and sadly died as the victim of a horrific and brutal murder. A short time after his mother passed on to early-onset Alzheimer's and cancer followed by an uncle and aunt whom he was very close to and was a constant source of support and inspiration.

More loss was to come when not long after the recording was completed, he was to endure the deaths of his sister and father in quick succession, all in all, six family members passing in three years. The impact of the losses and grief eventually took a toll on M.E. Baird and resulted in a major breakdown. This meant the release of the album would have to be put on hold, perhaps indefinitely. In the summer of 2015 seeking a reset, M.E. Baird decided with his partner and young daughter to move to Northern, New South Wales. Shortly after relocating and as an act of renewal and resilience ‘Fall’ was formally released in August 2016 two years after its recording. Overall, the album has been recognised as a fine testament to M.E. Baird's skills as a solo musician, songwriter, performer, and the enduring commitment he has to his art. Although the album despite being a critical success was considered too dark and melancholy by most in the Australian music industry and therefore didn't get the live airing it deserved. This was to be another heavy blow to M.E Baird, making it difficult for him to continue. Nonetheless, he was not going to be defeated. In the winter of 2017, he began writing tracks for what would become ‘Time’ his 4th full-length album.

'MYSTERIES OF THE HEART; VAGARIES OF THE MIND' (2010)

 In 2003, feeling an overwhelming need to write songs and record music again after taking a break to pursue an academic career in art and design. M.E. Baird formed an indie rock trio with drummer Justin Ward and bassist Kate O'Sullivan hitting the scene with a flurry of shows and then crashing and burning in a ceremonial blaze of riffing guitars and crashing cymbals.  In 2008, M.E. Baird would take it a little further and return to writing his own songs again, this time focusing on his true love for dark folk lament performing under the musical moniker of 'Lionel Lee' a fictional character that was an amalgamation of the carnival-like characters he encountered in remote towns and caravan parks while traversing the continent as a child.  Under the expanded band banner of ‘Lionel Lee’s Curse,’ he released an Ep followed by the critically acclaimed album Mysteries of The Heart; Vagaries of The Mind.  The album was co-produced by Bassist Ken Eveal and recorded primarily in M.E. Baird's home studio with additional work on the album completed at Tender Trap Studios, Northcote, Melbourne with producer and musician Roger Bergodaz, adding the final touches. This would initiate an ongoing relationship between Roger and M.E. Baird that would eventually lead to M.E. Baird's next album 'Fall', being produced and recorded by Roger, including Roger playing bass and drums on the album.