Boomkat Product Review:
You will likely know Meg Baird best from her work in Greg Weeks' nu-folk troupe Espers; it's her honeyed vocal tones that carry so many of Espers' tracks into the realms of the ethereal and on 'Dear Companion' she is finally seen working solo, away from Weeks' dense production. 'Dear Companion' is a deeply personal record and according to the label was very nearly never allowed to reach the general public, but within moments of hearing the opening (and title) track you are thankful that it eventually was. Baird's voice has really never sounded better, and as she tackles this collection of folk classics and traditional songs she seems absolutely in her element and is given the space she needs to produce something pure and beautiful. There's hardly a shortage of female fronted folk albums at the moment, just recently Peacefrog re-introduced American folky lady Marissa Nadler to almost universal acclaim, but where Nadler at times sounds like she is very intentional in what she does, with Meg Baird I get the impression that her music is just natural. This is the way she sings, it's from the heart and isn't laboured over - it just exists in this way because it has to. There might be a similarity then with the classic 'lost' folk artists of the 70s; Linda Perhacs, Anne Briggs, Catherine Howe et al, but what Baird has is truly her own, and she should be praised for it. Gorgeous music, from beginning to end.