Dan Baker’s debut album has been in the works since 2013 – and now will finally be launched this July as part of the Northern Fringe Festival.
Counting Paces in Tortoise Races is an honest and earnest LP drawing on Dan’s own experiences and emotion.
“A lot of inspiration for this album came from one particular obsession with a person that didn’t ever end up going anywhere, and questions and issues surrounding that,” said Dan.
“It addresses different struggles I had and a lack of acceptance of certain situations; struggling to find peace. Even more broadly, questions of existence and what am I doing here.
“I was – and sort of still am! – a bit of a neurotic person, so Counting Paces came from me knowing the number of steps it took for me to get places when some of these songs were written: around my hometown, my school, uni … I just knew how many steps it took to get from here to there! I’m not that bad anymore thankfully, but you do hear a bit of the idea behind that and me questioning a lot of things. I still admire a lot of the things I was able to come up with.”
Despite starting to record the album six years ago, it was only completed following a strong push from Dan’s friends and Neighbourhood Sessions organisers Sam Wright and Nicole Cross.
“The album took so long because I struggled so much with ideas and making it sound the way I wanted – everyone who worked on the album with me were all incredible but I was just not happy with bits and pieces that were all me! Sam really sticks out as saying ‘Consider it a snapshot of what you’ve done so far, and just get it out so you can move on to whatever’s next.’ I don’t like saying no to Sam and Nicole so when they sat me down and said it was time, I made it work!
“I’ve got some other material here ready to go and some semi-finished so I feel like this has blocked getting through to other stuff so I think after the launch I’ll finish writing a lot more very quickly.”
Dan’s album launch will be held at Neighbourhood Live House, a Northern Fringe Festival hub that will showcase original local music throughout July.
“There’s always been really talented musicians in Townsville but when you have a culture which we’re getting now thanks to Neighbourhood Sessions, that culture of original music and generating an appreciation of it in Townsville, it helps to create an atmosphere not only where audiences want to support new content, but where musicians are more willing to go out and perform their own stuff. Having an environment where that is valued really encourages you to be creative and do those things and keep creating, and that’s really special.”
Catch Dan Baker’s album launch at Neighbourhood Live House (Old Courthouse Theatre) from 6pm on 13 July, with more information here.