Singer/songwriter: for most people, the term still brings to mind the sound of one voice and a fingerpicked guitar, or a quiet piano, sketching a monochromatic study of one individual’s emotional landscape. Mike Baker, who performs and records as the Northern California alternative pop/rock act Radio Nowhere, is not that kind of singer/songwriter.
Possessed by kaleidoscopic musical visions and a tendency to spend more time singing about hostage crises than inner pain, Baker plays a whole pawnshop’s worth of different instruments and handles all of the engineering and production chores in solo pursuit of his own brand of panoramic sound.
It’s an amalgam of loud guitars, mistreated beatboxes, catchy choruses and a reverence for classic pop song form that marks Radio Nowhere as something like the missing link between Lyle Lovett and Led Zeppelin. Music fans who’ve always loved these artists, plusNeil Finn, Aimee Mann, Counting Crows and Elvis Costello, but wished that they’d turn their guitars up a little bit, will definitely notice a kindred spirit at work in Radio Nowhere.