Human Z and the Silver Vessel, the sophomore album from Redwing Blackbird, is a conceptual 

album evolving in real time. 

On the first Friday of every month, two freshly created new tracks are uploaded to Bandcamp, 

culminating in the final album release via LABEL records, on 31 October 2021. 

The latest two additions to the unfolding release for July are ‘An Accident from the Future’, and 

‘Corpse of an Orchid’. This is the third instalment in the series since May, and as such, the advancing 

album has just passed the halfway mark.

                                                   Introducing Paul Baker / Redwing Blackbird:


Redwing Blackbird is the focal project of Paul 

Baker, currently based in Denver, Colorado, USA. 

Baker is perhaps best known for his time with 

nineties goth rockers Second Skin, and more 

recently deathrock trio Plague Garden. 

Redwing Blackbird, on the other hand, distils 

influences from Baker’s extensive background 

working across multiple genres: from the political 

ideology and ethos of punk; the guitar tonality 

and melodic lead bass of post-punk, proto-goth, 

shoegaze, noise-rock, drone-rock, and no-wave; 

the sonic nuances and complexities of prog-rock, 

post-rock, and indie-psychedelia; the vocal growl 

of classic goth rock; and the rootsy Americana of 

neofolk-meets-Southern Gothic outlaw country. 

Comparisons have been drawn to everyone from 

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Big Black, and Joy Division 

through to Swans and Nick Cave; Dead Kennedys 

and The Clash; and even points of reference as 

disparate as Slint or Ween. And yet, despite 

having clearly defied and confounded convenient genre pigeonholes, there is certainly a coherent, 

distinctive, and immediately identifiable Redwing Blackbird sound. 

1991-2015 (in summary): from goth to shoegaze, indie, folk and back again 

From 1991-95, Paul Baker was bassist and cofounding member 

of the noted US gothic rock band Second Skin from Phoenix, 

Arizona; playing his first gig opening for Rozz Williams’s 

Shadow Project at Phoenix’s famous Mason Jar, and his final 

show with Second Skin’s original line-up supporting Swans at 

Nile Theatre, Mesa, Arizona in August 1995. 

During this time, Baker appeared on Second Skin’s debut EP 

The Scourging and the Crowning (1993), followed by the 

cassette album Hymns for the Hollow (1994), and played 

tourdates with the likes of The Wake, Human Drama, Screams 

for Tina, and Switchblade Symphony. 

Following their split from the original line-up, both Paul Baker 

and former Second Skin guitarist Mark Erickson went on to 

tour the Southwestern US with various electronic, post-punk, 

indie, and shoegaze bands, most notably Blueshift (1996-97) 

and Colorstore (1998-2004). Fronted by Erickson, Baker’s 

tenure with Colorstore culminated in the debut EP Heavy Sleeps (2004), and uncredited contributions to the follow-up album, When We Float the River (2006), released subsequent to 

Baker’s departure. 

Baker next played in post-punk/new wave-meets 

indie/psyche/gaze group The Tremulants, fronted by Marco 

Holt, formerly of Loud Americans, and The Tremulants’ only 

constant member. During Paul’s time with the band (2004- 

05), The Tremulants released one EP, Baby Don’t Let Go, 

while notable live dates included several shows with Built to 

Spill, and an art gallery performance supporting Arcade Fire. 

Baker then took a personal hiatus from music, due to the 

birth of his youngest child. Following his departure, both 

Colorstore and The Tremulants would continue until 2012, 

when in a cruel twist of fate, both bands were tragically 

ended by the suicide of Mark Erickson, and the untimely 

passing of Marco Holt from cancer, respectively. 

Paul Baker had meanwhile returned from parental leave, 

venturing into the dark Americana / Southern Gothic genre, 

both as a solo acoustic journeyman, and as bassist with 

various groups, including roots-based quintet Hashknife 

Outfit (2007-2012), playing on the band’s debut album Front 

Porch Swing (2009). Increasingly based back-and-forth 

between Arizona and Colorado from 2009-2014, Paul 

acquired the nickname ‘Good Neighbor’, and in 2009 formed 

the Denver, Colorado acoustic ensemble Good Neighbor & 

His Tent City Drifters, who held a longstanding residency at 

The Lion’s Lair, and released the Cow EP in 2013. 

Throughout his time on this circuit, Paul shared stages with 

prominent roots/folk, outlaw country, and Americana artists such as John Doe, Kinky Friedman, Billy 

Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters, and Australia’s C.W. Stoneking. 

Too Klaus for Comfort: Redwing Blackbird origins 2015-2019 

Coming off the road after years of solid touring with various bands, Baker decided to relocate 

permanently to Denver, Colorado, while still fronting the Tent City Drifters. 

“In 2015, coming out of red state Arizona, I found myself wanting to write more politically 

motivated material, while returning to my post-punk, goth, and shoegaze roots: louder, anti 

police state, anti-capitalism material, as a one-man multi-instrumentalist neofolk project. 

Redwing Blackbird began as a protest against the rise of the white Christian nationalist 

movement that I saw taking root culturally among bar room owners, promoters, and patrons 

across the United States during my folk touring.” 

On 20 January 2017 (the day of the Trump inauguration), Paul began writing Redwing Blackbird’s 

first album, Too Klaus for Comfort; material for which was road-tested throughout 2017-19 on tour 

in a white 1992 Buick Roadmaster hearse and trailer. Recording, mixing, and mastering was 

completed by Fernando Altonaga (eHpH, Plague Garden) at Bleeding Light Studio, and Too Klaus for 

Comfort was released on Halloween 2019. Adorned by Phoenix artist Tara Sharpe’s depiction of a scene from Herzog’s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, Baker told local Denver paper Westword that 

the album’s title (and title track) was both a nod to the notorious actor Klaus Kinski, and an 

analogous comparison between “the actor’s madness and commitment to his craft” and that of then 

President Trump, “himself a consummate showman and insane person.” 

Opening track ‘It’s Replicant Not Replican’ referenced iconic sci-fi author Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids 

Dream of Electric Sheep? – famously adapted to film by Ridley Scott as Blade Runner. Utilising this 

dystopian view of a future in which artificially created humans are denied the rights of others, 

Redwing Blackbird makes a point about our present climate: “We can’t even recognise other 

sexualities and races as equals right now”, Paul said. “So, it’s kind of a sci-fi commentary on the 

condition of our country.” Redwing Blackbird would later perform a graveside set where Philip K. 

Dick is buried in Fort Morgan, Colorado, during a festival to honour the author. Baker reportedly 

“showed up in his white hearse and performed in a cape with a set of headless mannequins.” 

‘The Spectacular Death of Margaret Fuller’ paid tribute to the first fulltime female critic in American 

journalism; ‘Capitalist Hands’ referenced the driving forces behind Brexit; and ‘Crackslipper’ was 

touted as “blatant propaganda against capitalist fascism”. Sounds and Shadows editor Ken 

Magerman described Too Klaus for Comfort as a “self-aware album full of camp, and spiralling 

darkness”; likened the sound to “batcave goth meets ‘90s britpop” with “a lot of prog-ish 

complexity”; and described the lyrical content as “diverse in scope … with a lot of piss and vinegar to keep it real.” Other tracks to perform well with DJs and specialist radio included ‘Devil’s Horns’, and 

a cover of Berlin’s ‘The Metro’. 

Live highlights for Redwing Blackbird in 2019 meanwhile included 

shows supporting Pink Turns Blue (Germany) and Kirk Brandon’s 

Spear of Destiny (UK). During the same period, Paul Baker, Fernando 

Altonaga, and Angelo Antencio formed the post-punk/deathrock trio 

Plague Garden: a collaboration between Redwing Blackbird and local 

EBM duo eHpH. Plague Garden released their first album, Left in the 

Grave in February 2020, while Redwing Blackbird embarked on 

tourdates from Feb-March supporting Michael Aston’s Gene Loves 

Jezebel, until the Covid 19 pandemic struck. 


                2020-present: Fire Cleans Everything, and Human Z and the Silver Vessel 

During lockdown, Baker challenged 

himself to write and record an EP in 

under thirty days through August, 

resulting in the Fire Cleans Everything EP. 

Released on election day (4 November 

2020), the EP evoked “a sense of the 

tension across the US” (Sounds and 

Shadows), ranging from the melodic post 

punk bass-driven goth of the title track; 

to the frenetic, sonorous jangle of 

‘Guillotine’; the cosmic drone-rock of 

‘Space Bridge’; and closing out with 

Baker’s haunting, neofolkish treatment of 

Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Rake’. 

Sean Melody for Sounds and Shadows 

praised the EP as “brilliantly composed” 

and “a modern post-punk classic in 

waiting”; drawing attention to the 

“steady rumble of the drums and driving bassline” of title track ‘Fire Cleans Everything’, that could 

“just as easily have been released in 1984 as today, to be answered by the slow whining drone of the 

guitar”. Citing Red Lorry Yellow Lorry for comparison, Melody called it “post-punk protest music with 

the restraint of a stalking jaguar.” The reviewer likened the “momentum, liquidity (and) psychedelia” 

of ‘Space Bridge’ to post-rock/mathcore outfit Slint’s acclaimed sophomore outing Spiderland – 

“powerful yet understated enough to become a cult classic”. ‘Guillotine’ once again drew 

comparisons to the Lorries: “chillingly upbeat yet apropos… encapsulating me in some dark embrace 

that will last for years”; while Baker’s delivery of ‘Rake’ was likened to Michael Gira and Nick Cave: 

“a down tempo neon ballad laced with the echo of western guitar. This track exposes so much 

aurally that the story becomes visual… a journey down the highway heading away from the chaos of 

the city, even if it is just for a moment in a seedy motel.” The second Plague Garden album, Requiem of Souls, followed in May of 2021, featuring artwork by Albie Mason (Scary Black), and 

a cover version of Tinita Tikaram’s ‘Twist in My Sobriety’. Baker 

had parted company with Plague Garden shortly before the official 

release, albeit amicably, and not before making an appearance in 

the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Dead on the Floor’. Baker 

has since been solely focused on the currently unfurling Redwing 

Blackbird album, Human Z and the Silver Vessel. 

It was also in May of 2021 that Redwing Blackbird appeared as the 

only US guest on the line-up for Desde Las Sombras: a livestreaming event primarily showcasing 

Latin American artists such as Last Dusk (Costa Rica), Animal Rojo (Mexico), Luna Mysti (Mexico), and 

Jesucrisis (Chile/USA), along with international guests such as Two Witches (Finland), Screaming 

Dead (UK), and Malefixio (Spain). 

Days later, Redwing Blackbird announced 

signing to Detroit, Michigan’s LABEL 

records, and issued the first two pre 

release tracks from the forthcoming 

album, namely ‘All as They Fear’ and 

‘Human Z’. The next two tracks, ‘The 

Silver Vessel’ and a reworking of ‘Space 

Bridge’ followed in June, and more 

recently, ‘An Accident from the Future’ 

and ‘Corpse of an Orchid’ became the 

latest additions to the progressing album. 

The next two tracks are due to appear on 

Friday, 6 August 2021. Monthly 

instalments will culminate in the full 

album release of Human Z and the Silver 

Vessel to coincide with Halloween on 31 

October 2021. 

On the same weekend, Redwing Blackbird will play host to Curse Mackey (frontman for Evil Mothers, 

and formerly of Pigface, My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult, et al) live in Denver, Colorado, at HQ. 

Follow Redwing Blackbird online 



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