Calum Baird is an independent Scottish singer-songwriter, musician and artist-activist who tours regularly throughout the UK and Europe.
Listen on Spotify
“A rising Scottish folk star“ – Jim Gellatly, Amazing Radio
“A wonderful songwriter” – Charlie Ashcroft, Amazing Radio USA
“A great, hard-working singer-songwriter” – Del Osei-Owusu, Songbird Sessions
Calum Baird is a Scottish singer-songwriter, musician and artist-activist, playing songs that tie together social, cultural and political ideas and themes in a folk music style influenced by Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Dick Gaughan, Phoebe Bridgers and Phil Ochs amongst others. Calum’s music incorporates a wide selection of instruments which takes his music into the indie-folk/folk-rock genres.
Calum performs regularly throughout the UK and Europe at festivals and events, as well as supporting causes and organisations with his music at home and abroad.
Calum has appeared and performed on national television as well as national and international radio such as Charlie Ashcroft’s Amazing Radio USA show, Postcard From the UK. Calum has, also, been featured in online media and blogs as well as in national and international press, including being featured in The Scotland on Sunday as their Artist of the Week.
Calum also wrote and composed the musical score for the award-winning feature-film, Exiles, written by Glasgow poet and writer, Victoria McNulty, and released in May 2021.
New Music – Few and Far Between
Few and Far Between features energetic vocals and honest, contemplative lyrics which reflect on, discuss and tell stories about today’s social struggles and issues such as overcoming alienation and our attitudes towards each other as well as living with burnout and trying to cope with loss. The song is grounded by a crisp acoustic guitar and a rich, intricate bass line which work together to guide the track throughout. The track’s arrangement includes strings which complement the pensive lyrics in the first chorus and, along with percussion, build to a crescendo for the finale. Few and Far Between is rounded off with a guitar solo/outro which invokes the sounds of Johnny Marr and Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
Few and Far Between is a reflective song for our times which utilises the vantage point of an independent musician and artist who is trying plot his way through life and trying to overcome the personal impacts of social issues like alienation. The reflective narrative allows the song to put personal insights and experiences to use to call for agency in overcoming social problems. Few and Far Between is for anyone looking for encouragement and trying to keep going in spite of long-standing social issues which are, seemingly, inching beyond redemption.
My music has always had a social and political edge. For this song, I want to channel that through a more intimate and speculative perspective to talk about aspects of social life with a reflective, story-telling narrative so as to share my own insights and experiences in order to assert human agency over issues like alienation, burnout and loss.
Few and Far Between is one of the first songs I wrote back in 2013. At the time, it reflected my moods and feelings about becoming a songwriter and embarking on a career of independent musicianship. I originally released the song on my (now discontinued) debut EP, Nothing to Lose, in 2014. The song has been a regular feature of my live performances since then, though, has not been available for streaming and download for some time until now.
The hope back in 2013 was that the anxieties and issues described would wither over time – this has not completely been the case. Many of the social problems that were prevalent nine years ago have only worsened while independent musicianship has, on the other hand, not gotten any easier thanks to ever decreasing amounts of cultural space, musicians vying for limited media attention and, not least, the covid pandemic. Therefore, this feels like a natural time to bring this song “back” to the public domain – with some updated lyrics and observations.
This arrangement of the song sits in the contemporary folk and singer-songwriter genres but features from different styles such as folk-pop. The track is influenced by Neil Young, Phoebe Bridgers, The Smiths and Johnny Marr among others. I developed this composition and recorded the vocals and acoustic guitar parts in my home studio. Long-term co-collaborator and fellow musician, Tobias Thiele, later expanded this arrangement in his studio, Blue Lizard, in Funkenhagen (Germany). Tobias added the track’s bass line, strings, percussion and electric guitar – the sum of these parts brings the song’s original composition to life. Tobias and I worked together on my last single, Some Call This Normal (April 2022), and we plan to work on more music together in the near future.
For the artwork, I took advantage of gloomy, foggy weather at the tail end of 2022 to capture an image which reflects the song’s pensive lyrics as well as convey the atmosphere of the song while, at the same time, trying reinforce the track’s core messaged: a determination to overcome personal and social struggles.
The music I have released in the past two years has received a high level of praise and publicity across media, radio and blogs. For example, I was named Artist of The Week in December 2020 in the Scotland on Sunday (read here) and Scottish music journalist, Jim Gellatly, described me as a “rising, Scottish folk star” in April 2022. With Few and Far Between, I want to maintain as much of this momentum as possible whilst also developing further my music’s themes.
Few and Far Between will be released on 20/01/2023 and will be available for streaming and download on all online stores and platforms.
Other news and upcoming gigs
This year, in addition to recording and releasing new music, I performed at festivals and events around the UK and into Europe as well.
In May, I played The Great May Day Cabaret in Edinburgh on the 1st alongside excellent Scottish and International poets and musicians such as Becci Wallace and Iona Lee. I also played with The Wakes for their sold-out gig in Saint Luke’s in Glasgow on May 6th and then at the Edinburgh May Day Festival on 7th May in the Pleasance.
In July, I performed a sold-out Sofar Sounds show in Edinburgh before playing two shows in Berlin, including one at the Fiesta de Solidaridad on July 23rd.
In August, I performed at the Edinburgh Festival, including at the inaugural Word Up show in the New Town Theatre before travelling to Germany to play two shows at the 2022 UZ-Pressefest in Berlin, my second time playing there after four shows in 2018.
I will end 2022 by playing shows across Scotland including at Rise Up in Edinburgh on November 2nd and at Word Up on November 19th – both at The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh. I will also play at a world music showcase hosted by St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh and in the flagship HMV Store in Edinburgh.
Looking ahead to 2023, I will be releasing new singles in January and February to tease the release of an album later in the year. As well as this, I have UK shows confirmed in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Brighton in addition to two shows in Berlin in February. I will be performing at Glastonwick 2023 and I am currently planning a tour of Germany in the summer next year, also.