Supported in earnest by a pop/rock pit orchestra, Zaq Baker’s catalogue dares to ask questions like, “What if Billy Joel was younger and dumber?” and, “What if we brought a punk ethic to musical theatre?” His material was once described by a graphic designer as “really whiny” and by an old roommate as “like the male Taylor Swift.”
Zaq’s melody candy recounts mental health, heartbreak, and the pains of growing up. With grand piano at the center, each story song is supported by guitars, an expanded string quartet, drums, bass, and vocal harmonies. Showtunes, emo revival, and bright, accessible, forthright lyrics form the backdrop for a unique, relatable collection.
Zaq’s latest album, This Time It’s Personal (2022), is marked by Zaq’s signature lyrical playfulness and depth. The eight-song record is stripped to grand piano, a full strings ensemble, performed by Jillian Rae, and intimate vocals. The new album serves as an “exhale” to Zaq’s two expansive recent albums, Cardio (released December 2020) and Maddie’s Delivery Service (released February 2021), which each feature a full pop-punk outfit alongside grand piano, strings, harmonies, and guest vocals.