M.E. Baird is an Australian singer-songwriter and artist/illustrator. Originally from Melbourne, M.E. Baird has lived in many places since, each a unique chapter in art and life. He currently calls the Northern Rivers region (Bundjalung Nation) of New South Wales home.
M.E. Baird began his musical career in Melbourne in the late 1980s. He has gone on to write and record five solo albums and numerous recordings under band names and musical monikers. He has contributed tracks to Film and Television projects, including original soundtracks.
His first critically acclaimed solo album Mysteries of the heart; Vagaries of the mind, recorded under the fictional name of Lionel Lee and his band Lionel Lee's Curse was runner-up as the best folk-pop album by the AGE EG (Entertainment Guide) Melbourne for 2010. However, the following years 2011 - 2016 were to become one of the most difficult periods in M.E. Baird's life and career. During this period he would endure the unforeseen deaths of six family members in a three-year period and would have to make some uncompromising decisions in life and work. In 2014, as a means of distraction from his grief, he wrote and recorded his third solo album Fall. M.E. Baird initially shelved the album thinking it was too personal but was encouraged by outside forces to release it in 2016. The album, although hailed as a masterpiece by some was considered too dark by the industry gatekeepers for popular consumption and hence became a difficult album for M.E. Baird to tour and promote. The industry rejection of the album was to come as a huge emotional blow for M.E. Baird and would compound his already fragile mental state.
However, M.E. Baird was determined to keep writing and recording and in the winter of 2017, M.E. Baird teamed up with producer Jamie Trevaskis and singer-songwriter, musician, Sali Bracewell at Jamie's Brisbane-based studio to record a bunch of songs that would become his fourth solo album, Time. The album received glowing reviews and was widely accepted as M.E. Baird's most accomplished and uncompromisingly authentic to date. A national tour in support of the album commenced in 2019. however, midway into the tour M.E. Baird became ill and was subsequently diagnosed with advanced and aggressive prostate cancer. In February 2020, M.E. Baird underwent surgery, just as a rapidly spreading virus was about to become a global threat. The surgery was deemed successful and he was pronounced cancer free. However, twelve months later it was revealed that the cancer was indeed back and had infact spread throughout his body. Since then he has undergone a regime of additional treatments and remains hopeful that he will be eventually free of cancer. In spite of all the setbacks, M.E. Baird has managed to begin recording again with Jamie Trevaskis producing on what will become his sixth solo release. Regardless of all the setbacks, M.E. Baird is eternally grateful for the enduring support of his partner, daughter, extended family, friends and the amazing folk at North Coast Cancer Institute, Lismore. He is also externally thankful to still be able to tell his story through song and art each and every day.
M.E. Baird knew from a very young age that he wanted to pursue a life dedicated to creativity, even though others in his orbit actively discouraged it. His much older sister, studying fine arts at the time, encouraged him to draw daily. Drawing and playing the guitar would quickly become his refuge and lifelong dedication. He studied fine art at Frankston Technical College in his teens but never completed the course. He eventually went on to study landscape architecture and art at RMIT and after graduation, pursued a sessional academic career in art and design as a means of funding his true love of making music and art.
"His songs are visually rich possessing a novelistic quality that is dark and warm. The music of M.E. Baird cajoles and challenges.
Images flow and tunes beguile. A treat."
★★★★ - The Music Collective
"M.E. Baird's live performances are nothing short of compelling with his deep lamenting vocal style and singular stage presence."
Holden Hill Music
"There is a haunting quality to M.E. Baird’s music, a type of gothic folk/blues noir that permeates the songs. Baird knows how to successfully balance the beauty and the despair on Time and as a result, this is an album that should fit nicely in the record collections of fans of songwriters such as Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave and Will Oldman."
★★★★ - The Music (Australia)
"The slowly developing, intimately held tracks, which are neither folk, nor country, but maybe a Cohen/Dylan inspired interpretation of both, are meant for the small, dark, alone spaces of your life. Being also a visual artist, there is no surprise that his songs are often described as possessing a distinct visual richness and depth where each song can be like cinematic vignettes."
★★★★ - Sydney Morning Herald
"Deeply emotive, M.E. Baird is driven by emotion. Whether in the carefully crafted lyrics, the music itself, or his lamenting singular voice, emotion drips from everywhere, it trickles down walls and pools on the floor. It aches and hurts...and it’s beautiful."
★★★★ - Rhythms Magazine
"Baird speaks of lost loves and scarred hearts, and while he paints life in a harsh light, he still finds something to hold onto, be it a memory or dream not yet faded. This dark folk at its finest, sad, bitter, and beautiful."
★★★★ - The Brag Magazine, Sydney