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Artist Spotlight: baum

NOTE: this album may no longer be available for free, depending on where you live, since We7 changed their free download policy.

Last month, I made a post about We7, a unique site that provides free music with short ads attached to the beginning of each file. Since then, I have downloaded more albums from the site than I had initially anticipated. Since We7 makes it possible to download ad-free versions of 20 tracks per month, I have been recently been faced with having to decide which tracks I want to have ad-free versions of. One album that I didn't even have to hesitate about is Live at Kongresshaus Zurich by baum, which also happened to be the very first album I downloaded from the site.

Information about baum is pretty scarce, but from what I have been able to gather, he is a Swiss musician who used to be in a band called Outland, and for the last few years he has been performing and writing his own solo material. Live at Kongresshaus Zurich is the only release currently available from him, although he is currently at work on his debut album.

Live at Kongresshaus Zurich is a 7-song EP that was recorded when baum was opening for Van Morrison. The performances are absolutely riveting, and are a great example of just how powerful and dynamic music can be when it consists of nothing but acoustic guitar and vocals. "Valentine's Day", for example, starts off with quiet, subued verses, builds up into a powerful and uplifting chorus, and ends with a flourish that showcases baum's guitar skills. Those guitar skills are also on fine display in "Neverland", in which he manages to play a couple of complementary melodies simultaneously, all while singing over the top of it. "Center of Town" is another highlight, reminiscent of Eddie Vedder's solo material and featuring a great bridge. Finally, the bouncy, upbeat "Crow" allows baum a chance to show off his charisma as he manages to get the audience of 3000 people clapping along.

If Live at Kongresshaus Zurich is any indication, baum's upcoming debut album will definitely be one of the year's highlights. I don't know if any of these songs will be on it (I hope they will, as full-band versions would likely sound incredible), but I am very much looking forward to it. Please go download this EP (or at least listen to it on the site) and let me know what you think of this promising artist. Happy listening!

Note: in order to download Live at Kongresshaus Zurich, you will need to have a We7 account. In case you don't already have one, you may like to know that registration at We7 is completely free and enables you to download as much music as you want, as well as create your own playlist on the site. I also plan to feature more music from We7 in the near future, so if you are a regular reader of this blog and you generally like the music I feature here, I would highly recommend having your own We7 account.


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