Take 5: Tim Baker

Tim Baker from renowned Canadian band Hey Rosetta! has recently been touring the UK & Europe with some incredible solo live shows (and we are reliably told he had funny banter with his audiences, to boot.) His debut critically acclaimed solo album ‘Forever Overhead’ was released in 2019, followed by a  solo single and EP ‘The Eighteenth Hole’. Tim recently shot a stunning brand new, breathtakingly cinematic video for the single shot in Newfoundland. Super talented and musically prolific – we decided to dig deeper to find out much more about Tim Baker with a ‘Take 5’….

When did you realise that you wanted to be a musician and song-writer? What or who has inspired you ?  

This goes back further than I can remember i’m afraid. My father put me in piano lessons at the age of four and wouldn’t hear of me quitting, and meanwhile as a child apparently my hair was exactly like Rod Stewart’s (who was my mother’s favourite and would actually come to Newfoundland on tour occasionally, which was a huge deal) so I guess it was sort of predestined from then on. I grew up listening to my parents music (a mixture of heavyweight 60/70s songwriters and 80/90s rock) and then I came of age during the explosion of alternative music in the 90s, all the while playing classical music and singing in choirs, so a lot of things shaped me musically as I grew up. But it was probably the hair. 

Who, living or dead, would you dream of collaborating with?

I usually say Feist – because I love her musical spirit and production and voice and I feel I understand her so well – or perhaps Johnny Greenwood because I don’t. Or I would love a 70s era Dion to sing a song I wrote. Or Van Morrison. Or a 60s era Cat Stevens. Or to go through the process of writing and arranging and recording a song with Paul Simon. Or Wilco. Or 60’s Colin Blunstone. Or John Lennon. But oh that’s too many dreams. 

Tell us about your EP ‘The Eighteenth Hole Variations’– what is the song about? 

So the EP is simply two variations on the song “The Eighteenth Hole” from my full-length record. One is a dreamy vocal trio arrangement, the other a solo-piano instrumental version. The song is pretty simple and narrative. It’s about going to your ex-girlfriends wedding, and then escaping the heavy regret of it by leaving the reception and drunkenly roaming through a golf course. 

Tell us five things you love about the city you live in (please name) and why…

I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and I love it because

  • It’s green but urban
  • It’s quiet but always pulsing with music and art and all sorts of goings-on
  • It’s full of my friends but also millions of people I’ve not met
  • It’s the centre of the music industry of Canada but also the scene there is surprisingly small and welcoming and cooperative and good
  • The food – but maybe this should be number one

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

When I finish this European tour (in mid-March) I’m going home to finish writing and begin recording my next record and that is the most exciting thing.