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Meg Baird

As a member of psych-folk outfit Espers, half of the family duo the Baird Sisters, and as a solo artist, Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter Meg Baird has lent her lovely voice to a variety of folk-based projects. Baird's true roots are deeply entwined in the Celtic/Anglo folk traditions as well as in Americana; she's well-versed in traditional ballads and songs, and her delicate, crystalline lilt fits perfectly in that milieu. Still, Baird is better known within the indie and underground rock scene than the more established streams of the folk community. In 2005, Baird met and established a friendship with Oxford, England's folk chanteuse Sharron Kraus, who later relocated to Philadelphia. Baird, Kraus, and Espers cellist Helena Espvall recorded an album together. It was released by Bo Weavil in 2006 as Leaves from Off the Tree. Baird's solo debut, Dear Companion, issued in 2007 by Drag City, featured a wide selection of cover material and two originals that displayed not only her many influences, but her command of the many interrelated languages of folk music. Baird toured the album and then went back to work with Espers, who recorded and released III in 2009. After extensive touring and a little time off, Baird cut her sophomore solo album on Drag City entitled Seasons on Earth; it was released in September 2011, and featured special guest Helena Espvall. That same year, Baird appeared as a guest on Kurt Vile's Smoke Ring for My Halo, and Glenn Jones' My Garden State in 2012. Baird relocated to San Francisco and became the drummer and lead vocalist in Heron Oblivion, a neo-psych band with guitarists Charles Saufley and Noel V. Harmonson, and bassist Ethan Miller. Over the next several years, she contributed a single track to various-artist compilations such as Momentos 2011: Canciones Internacionales, Vol. II., Thirteenth, and Shirley Inspired. In June of 2015, she released her third solo album for Drag City, Don't Weigh Down the Light, on which she and Saufley played all instruments. After touring, Baird and Saufley joined fellow San Franciscans Ethan Miller (Howlin' Rain, Feral), and Noel Von Harmonson (Sic Alps, Six Organs of Admittance) in forming the psych outfit Heron Oblivion. They issued their self-titled debut on Sub Pop in 2017 with a sound described by the label as "pastoral pummel." For many years, Baird's career intersected that of sister Philadelphian, avant harpist Mary Lattimore. The list of artists who have called upon her idiosyncratic voices, talents, and visions to enrich their own work was expansive -- a virtual pocket encyclopedia of contemporary indie and experimental musicians, but Baird and Lattimore had never collaborated before. In 2018, the pair joined forces for the album Ghost Forests, issued by Three Lobed. It offered six collaborative compositions conjured from harp, guitars, synths, and vocals. Prior to its release in mid-November, the pair toured Western Europe and the U.K.
© Nate Knaebel & Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Discography

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