Senator, also known as Howard Baker, is on the verge of releasing his debut EP Tiny Monsters.
Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and raised in Austin, Texas, Senator was raised in a highly musical family and has been performing from a young age. In fact, he attributes his musical talent to his mother, and his musical taste to his father.
Senator’s various influences are reflected through his unique sound on debut EP Tiny Monsters, which is released on March 10. The six-track EP has also been inspired by different situations, allowing him to become the ultimate storyteller, by using music as a creative outlet for dark or negative situations. Speaking about the EP, he said: “Each song on the album has a story and represents a different topic. I tried to take the darkest aspects of life and turn them into something beautiful on this album.”
Tiny Monsters features credits from Eric Broyhill (Senses Fail, Tycho, Crosses †††) and production credits from Senator himself. The EP is a fusion of indie, rock and folk, making great use of percussion to build up the tracks. Throughout, there is a raw honesty which is often missing from today’s industry.
‘Lost Again’ opens with a gentle guitar melody over the sound of rain and rumblings of thunder. We are slowly introduced to Senator’s breathy vocals, which are at times barely audible over the additional vocals and piano. However, this creates a haunting vibe which is incredibly effective and emphasises the struggles which life can throw at us on a daily basis.
The second Tiny Monsters track is ‘Breathless’, which was the first to be unveiled from the EP. As previously mentioned, each song represents a different topic and this particular song is about a girl who was sexually assaulted. Much like ‘Lost Again’, ‘Breathless’ has a slow beginning however, instantly has a darker vibe. Gentle percussion is used to build the song, and at around 2 minutes 20 the song peaks with a combination of drums and a guitar solo.
‘Falling Out’ is immediately different from the previous two tracks. Kicking off with a strong guitar and drum melody, Senator’s indie vocal glides effortlessly over the song. ‘Falling Out’ is easily the most uptempo track on the album, and brings a little light to proceedings despite being inspired by a dark situation.
The fourth track, ‘One Night Stand’, is haunting from the off. The beginning of the track features heavy breathing, before Senator’s muted vocals are thrown into the spotlight over a fuzzy beat. ‘One Night Stand’ was inspired by the dark reality of some men plotting to drug and torture blind dates, however, Senator turns this on its head by reversing the roles and making a man the victim. Despite its dark tone, the song is still oozes soul.
‘Picture Perfect’ begins with gentle percussion, a common sound on the EP. However, unlike previous songs so far, there is a strong brass sound during the chorus, which is a surprising yet pleasant addition to the song. Senator’s indie vocals are stronger during ‘Picture Perfect’, which is necessary against the brass instrumental.
The last song is ‘April Moon’, which begins with an old creaky recording. The five minute song develops into a soulful offering which is about letting go, peeling away the layers until the real you is revealed. The track is completely hypnotic and it’s easy to lose yourself in it. As per the rest of the EP, the song slowly winds out at the end.
Senator brings proceedings to a close with the Outro, which begins with Senator and a guitar. He is then joined by additional vocalists, all singing ‘so long my friend, until we meet again’. We hope that we get to meet Senator again, as his powerful EP has certainly left its mark on us.
It’s evident that the six tracks have been carefully crafted, with Senator opting to discuss themes that others would normally shy away from. This is a powerful and much needed move, and will hopefully be thought provoking for many. Tiny Monsters is a hypnotic effort, and we’re excited to hear much more from Senator in the future.