This Durham-based musical project takes its name from one of the most intriguing and diverse trees in the world. It is the national tree of Madagascar, and it is impossible to find two that are the same. Much of the same could be said for Phil Torres. His music is a very unique blend of folk, electronic, and world music. His music is driven by acoustic guitar, a plethora of percussive noises, a splash of melodic electronic noises, and his vocals which seem to be an instrument of their own. His self-titled debut was released last year and already it has taken much of the Triangle by hold. It is incredible how one man could have written, performed, mixed, and mastered such a complex album on his own especially since it is his first effort.
Phil Torres, in addition to fronting Baobab, has a MS in neuroscience and spent a year as a visiting graduate student in the philosophy department at Harvard. He has just published his first book entitled A Crisis of Faith: Atheism, Emerging Technologies and the Future of Humanity. Whitney Trettien joins Torres on-stage for live shows. She is a Ph.D. student in English at Duke University. Despite their busy lives and amazing intellect, they still find time to wow us lesser mortals with their inspiring music. They are a spectacle to see live as they loop guitars and synths over vocals complete with live drumming. In addition to the music, Torres also makes some interesting videos to accompany some of his songs.
Baobab can be seen touring at various venues around the Triangle. With a double album release party coming up on the 22nd with Virgins Family Band at the Local 506, we can look forward to some great things ahead. This album, aptly titled BAYOHBAHB, will be released by Hand Eye Records. After playing for a year now with these first batch of songs, we can expect Torres’ restless spirit to have somehow found a way to improve upon his already perfected craft of beautiful, percussive acoustics with complementing electronics. With a project that started for Torres as a retreat from writing his book, we can only hope that Baobab has become as important to Torres as it has to the Triangle music scene.
Check out the interview and in-studio performance with Phil Torres accompanied by the Virgins Family Band below which also included some exclusive premieres off the upcoming album BAYOHBAHB.