Keith Baudry – Ghosts That Whisper Through Speakers Album Review

Posted: February 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

By Christopher Horton

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Keith Baudry is one interesting cat. He writes short stories, poems, designs websites, sings, plays guitar, a voracious reader….it’s like his whole life is dedicated to art. I can definitely sympathize with that. He’s a disciple of art and culture. Chances are, if you see the unassuming bearded guy at your show, in sneakers, glasses and a beanie…standing in the back. He’s not just watching, he’s studying.  He’s at church.

We are definitely kindred souls.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Keith more than once. As a matter of fact, I worked with him on track on this album: “Trip Horse”. We co-wrote, produced, and recorded the song in one evening at my home studio. On a whim, really. Because we were both in the mood to make something dark, brooding, and mechanical.

I also played in his band “Sister Beards” for a short while, which was straight Blues rock. He also had a project called “Spacedevilbutterfly”, which leaned towards electronica. So I know a thing or two about Keith and his style. It’s all over the place.

That being said, hearing this new solo effort from him is quite a surprise. I was excited to hear what he had come up with. Keith showed up at my doorstep, at 8am, CD in hand. Grinning ear to ear. I figured if he’s that excited about it, I should be excited too.

The end result is a medley of electronica, southern rock riffs, and an overall somber…and dark vision. I say surprising, because it is a huge departure from anything I have heard him do. I also had no idea that he was even making this album. But if I know Keith, he probably didn’t know he was making an album either. It just happened.

The album kicks off pretty noisy. The first track, “Wretched Egg” is an amalgamation of guitars and synth, with buried vocals that work almost as an instrument themselves,weaving in and out with the rest of the soundscape. The song is a great way to grab your attention and almost says: “Strap in fuckers, this is going to get weird”.

Next we go into blues guitar riffs ala’ The White Stripes. This second track, “Golden” is fantastic. This could have easily been a Sister Beards song. The sparse bluesy vibe is almost a trademark of Keith’s early work. Over the grinding riff we have Keith’s haunting vocals, perhaps speaking of lost love.

The next three tracks are straight electronica, including his two collaborative tracks with myself and Vincent Villain. “Trip Horse” is my contribution, which we purposely tried to make as dark as possible, and aggressive. It’s on the border of being a soundtrack to a horror film. As I described it earlier, dark and mechanical.

On the flipside, “Breathe”, his collaboration with Vincent, is almost the polar opposite. It has a sad feel to it, and the sounds used remind me of electronic genius like The Knife or Fever Ray. With altered vocals, layered with effects. Its very hypnotic, and to be honest, probably my favorite track on the album. I listened to it twice when I first heard it, because I didn’t want it to end.

If that’s not enough diversity, we also get a great stripped down acoustic version of “Cactus” by The Pixies. Keith manages to make a familiar song his own, a sign of artistic vision usually found in artists well beyond Keith’s short years of experience.

We go back to electronica with “Slowdown”, “Adore nothing, spit”, and “Adore Homonym”.  These come across as interludes, with some tripped out guitar dashed here and there. These are kinda live jams. Improv if you will. It gets really dissonant until we hit the last track…

“You Always Hurt The Ones You Love” is track 10. It’s just Keith and an acoustic guitar, stripped down with no effects. It’s short and sweet, and intriguing. It’s intriguing because it is almost the antithesis of everything else on the album. No keyboards or drum machines. No vocal overdubs. Just a room, a mic, and Keith. It’s a great way to end the album. The opposite of how it starts. Birth and Death. Light and Dark.

Keith is definitely on to something. This new effort shows that no matter who produces the track, or what instruments are used, Keith’s style is still stamped on everything. his unique, soulful voice helps to tie everything together. But with his lyrical imagery combined, he leaves his mark no matter what the vibe or genre is. That’s undeniable talent at work. The only negative criticism I can really give is sometimes the album sounds a bit unfocused. But when the focus is there, magic happens.

I honestly can’t wait to see what he comes up with next, or to work with him again.

You can check the album out on bandcamp: https://keithbaudry.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-that-whispers-through-speakers-b-sides-and-rarities
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