EP available January 2018
by Sarah Jenssen
(advanced copy review)
"Living Proof" is the debut EP from powerhouse Pacific Northwest indie rock recording artist MANUEL BAIR, a 5-song collection balancing hard rockers with acoustic pop ballads at home with the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, Soul Asylum, and Chris Cornell.
Produced by Deane Ogden (Libby Fury, Seal, David Foster) "Living Proof" showcases Bair's confident angsty vocal delivery, which launches the set with the radio-ready power ballad "Once I'm Gone", inarguably the collection's most commercial-forward cut. Bair's aesthetic doesn't stop there, however, turning on a dime with a rousing rocker in "V", a clear tip of the hat to his college rock predecessors. With the quiet sway of "Your Return", Bair summons his lower register on a surefire crowd-pleasing refrain to bring home a rolling acoustic rock arrangement that is as poignant as it is hopeful. The rootsy freetiming "Mercy" provides a perfect bridge to the beautiful "The Last Song", a simple but powerful cello and acoustic guitar encore. Bair's empathetic vocal leaves you wondering which side of the narrative he belongs to, a nuanced lyric that will resonate with even the most hardened spirit.
Packaging up one of this year's most standout
collections of acoustic-based rock, Manuel Bair
is a definite force to be reckoned with.
His songwriting style combined with a
confident command of guitar skill and
vocal ability makes for a fresh take on the
time-honored subjects of loss, regret,
social cause, and wounded romance.
With "Living Proof", Manuel Bair
emerges from the post-rock ashes to
create a song collection worthy
of your attention."