Melanie Baker at Lubber Fiend
29/09/22It’s not very often that you find an artist that is clearly incredibly talented but so naturally humble, indie folk artist Melanie Baker is the epitome of this. Born and raised in Cumbria her music displays the same quiet, effortless magic as her home, the kind that takes your breath away with its humble beauty. It was such an honour to see her voice completely silence a crowd of people with just a spotlight, her guitar, her musical partner Josh Mark Jackson, and the coolest pinstripe suit I’ve ever seen. She was quick to joke ‘I write sad songs’, but this was an understatement. Baker has a talent to approaching the subjects that the rest of us can never quite seem to explain, or maybe even comprehend. She can somehow draw out the beauty and the pain from anything; the heartbreak of falling in and out of love, burn out, feeling anxious in a society that thrives off of anxiety. A skill that people who have lived a whole life struggle to have, never mind someone in their early twenties.
There were a couple of songs that gave me goosebumps, and I’m sure I could feel them on everyone else too. ‘Waiting List’ her newest single seemed to be a clear favourite amongst her audience. Being a song about the urge to prioritise ourselves is so hard hitting for an audience that feels like society is trying to prioritise things for us. The firm favourite may have also been because of the brilliant music video that Baker released for it earlier this year, shot by her own girlfriend Ellen Dixon and featuring the sights of Newcastle including the playing of her guitar in The North Sea. Another favourite was ‘Honey’ which felt so comforting and thrilling at the same time. When she sang the lyrics ‘Everything is going to be okay, even if it’s not today, we’ll work it out.’ you could almost feel a sigh of relief run through the room.
Baker’s music offers a perfect narrative to the uncertainty of modern times but also the timeless pain and pleasure that all relationships have. Throughout her performance she was so grateful for everyone, from her best friend, to the people that came to see her, to her girlfriend who was beaming at the back of the room. Little did she know the pleasure was all ours.