Asher Baker is an independent punk rock singer-songwriter from London, UK. Armed with an acoustic guitar, a voice and a microphone, Asher stands at the ready for the call to jump on a train and play his songs to whoever will listen, wherever they are, whenever he can. Described by Songeist.com as ‘a standout voice and character in the thriving UK folk punk melee,’ he mixes punk, folk, rock and incendiary poetry to express his observations about the world we live in. Finding inspiration as much in the writing of Steinbeck and Homer as the music of Dave Hause and Noel Gallagher, Asher’s own journey is set to reach its destination on his debut album The Way Back.
The Way Back was recorded at Regal House Studio with producer James Routh (Sonic Boom Six, Ghouls) and is the culmination of Asher’s travels so far. Utilising his background of over a decade in the UK underground punk scene, Asher was able to call up a bevy of friends for the project, incorporating viola, violin, banjo and piano, guest appearances from members of Sonic Boom Six and The Karma Party, and vocals by David Bird and Kelsey Beth-Crossley. He and James arranged musical backdrops for Asher’s songs organically in the studio, summoning a variety of styles to suit the mood of the lyrics, ranging from the fundamentals of his signature acoustic folk, and across heavy rock, Fat Wreck-style punk and classic Britpop influences.
Asher has written poetry since he was a child, so it’s no surprise that the heart of the record is the lyrics, used to vividly express Asher’s unique worldview. Subject matter ranges from personal songs about youth and friendship like ‘Stories’, memorable visits to punk festivals on ‘Home From Home’ and a powerful message to his mum – who brought Asher up as a single-mother – on ‘Architects’. There are political songs too, like the stark expose of English Coalition rule, ‘Something In England’. Title track ‘The Way Back’ details Asher’s experiences with identity and elitism in the British folk punk scene, having shared the stage with such luminaries as Crazy Arm, Pete Doherty, Itch and Apologies, I Have None and many more over the last several years. Perhaps the most remarkable song on the record is where the politics and personal truly unite on ‘This Ship’, the story of a close school friend who joined the BNP, much to the chagrin of Asher, a conspicuously mixed-race Londoner.
On The Way Back Asher finally joins the ranks of veteran punk rock troubadours who smash the system by arming themselves with nothing more than a pen, a guitar and a belly full of fire.
It’s a mission on which he’d very truly appreciate the pleasure of your company.