Head Fake’s Michael Baker – Hasten Mercy EP

4 mins read

Head Fake is an interesting musical act, with a unique take on their approach to creating music. The enigmatic trio has always had an air of mystery, and that was reflected in their releases. Where most musicians put themselves into their music, Head Fake’s craft was focused on the mystery, in a way putting himself into it while committing to his bit.

Hasten Mercy is a solo project recently launched by the Head Fake member Michael Baker. Here, he takes a drastic shift to a more earnest and honest form of music, one that’s as interesting as it is engaging. It’s a fairly surprising move by the artist, one that reinvents himself and his image in a new and more emotional way. But, is the new EP any good? That’s what we’re here to find out.

The first track is “Star You Are,” and it establishes very quickly what the theme of the EP is, which it will continue to build up over the course. The song itself is buoyant and upbeat, with synths reminiscent of early PS1 era video game soundtracks. It lends to the song’s positive attitude and cheerful demeanor that it’s intentionally setting up.

In terms of content, “Star You Are” tells the story of a man who believes in someone and thinks they’re incredible. With his support, the person slowly begins to build up their life and become their best self. It’s very simple stuff, and the fun atmosphere keeps it catchy.

While “Star You Are” is a fun track, “These Things” is where the EP truly begins to show its true colors. A far cry from the happy and buoyant sound of the previous track, “These Things” continues the tale of the man and the person he supports. In this one however, the man’s doubts and fears pile up, and he feels he’s beginning to hurt the other person, despite how he feels happy with them.

Supporting this, the song’s atmosphere matches perfectly with dingier and softer synths showcasing the sadder tone. Michael’s delivery on the track is also excellent, as his quiet voice really sells the sadness and doubt being presented. It’s a heartbreaking track, but one that continues to build up the EP’s themes.

It culminates in “I Break Everything,” a ballad about how the character, in the act of self doubt and hatred, leaves their loved one from fear of hurting them as he wails “I break everything, I break everyone, so I’m leaving because I love you”. It’s what Hasten Mercy’s title alludes to, the idea that he’s sparing the other person’s sadness by leaving early brought about by his own doubts.

“I Break Everything” in itself is a beautiful song and a fantastic way to end the short but concise project. Hasten Mercy is something special, a work of art that’s exquisite and powerful in its message. We give it a huge recommendation, a fantastic effort that pays off in a big way.

Listen to the EP:

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