7 Songs, 21 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nottingham’s Joel Baker once served as a parliamentary assistant for Labour MP Sharon Hodgson but this mixtape concentrates on the personal rather than the political. His confessionals pick through relationship dramas and thwarted ambitions while blending folk, R&B, and hip-hop with incisive hooks. Baker’s weathered croon is arresting and soulful on the title track and “Extraordinary,” while his rapping skills stand up in the company of MOBO-winning MC Abra Cadabra over “Story”’s blithe groove.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nottingham’s Joel Baker once served as a parliamentary assistant for Labour MP Sharon Hodgson but this mixtape concentrates on the personal rather than the political. His confessionals pick through relationship dramas and thwarted ambitions while blending folk, R&B, and hip-hop with incisive hooks. Baker’s weathered croon is arresting and soulful on the title track and “Extraordinary,” while his rapping skills stand up in the company of MOBO-winning MC Abra Cadabra over “Story”’s blithe groove.

TITLE TIME

About Joel Baker

Making soulful folk-pop in the vein of fellow U.K. musicians James Morrison and Paolo Nutini, Joel Baker is a singer and songwriter from Nottingham, England. He began playing the guitar as a preteen and started a band with a schoolmate. More bands followed, and he eventually relocated to London with a degree in political science in hand. There, he met a couple of music producers on Twitter, invested in voice lessons and some songwriting books, and found himself hitting the recording studio after his day job in Parliament. Baker released his debut EP, Long Sleeves, in 2013, following it with another self-released EP, 2014's Every Vessel. He quit his job to tour after BBC Radio 1 featured him on a new artists playlist.

In 2016, Baker hit another career milestone by signing with Virgin Records, which released Bag of Dreams Mix Tape in 2017. It featured collaborations with Maths Time Joy and rapper Abra Cadabra. ~ Marcy Donelson

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