We hear the ticking of a clock and a few simple piano chords, immediately conjuring the passage of time. Then the voice comes in smooth with a sing/speak verse that dances with rhythm eventually giving way to a rootsy croon that is both accessible and a bit mysterious. Tobe Baer’s The Descent from his new KeyMedia Group release The Passing of Time grabs your attention from its opening seconds and hangs on tight. Displaying versatility in songwriting within a single tune, Baer’s tune deftly journeys through different vibes from section to section but never feels disjointed or like its pieces struggle to fit together to form a complete picture. Quite the opposite; it all hangs together like magic to create a portrait of blissful youth and dreams to chase.
The Descent conjures the good vibes of a summery Maroon Five jam but with songwriting that feels deeply authentic and true. It is at once both youthful and wise beyond its years. Armed with soulful pipes and a detectable twinkle in his eye, the Bay Area-born Brooklyn-based troubadour speaks to the promise and potential of a young life and the desire to navigate it without regret, revealing himself to be a dreamer in the process. Clean, straightforward production, including a vocal sound that brings you up close and personal, elevate this beyond your run of the mill indie release. Keep your eye on this guy.
Baer also treats us to a remix of the tune by CHRCTRS, which takes The Descent and turns it on its head. Playing with different tempos and keys, CHRCTRS manages to preserve the vibe of the original while transforming it into a legitimate dance track.
Tobe Baer's The Passing of Time is out now on KeyMedia Group.
review by Christopher Dallman