Louis Baker Stirs The Soul With His Debut EP 'Louis Baker'...
The Red Bull Music Academy recognized the potential in New Zealand singer-songwriter Louis Baker, inviting him to attend their four-week New York summer session, and with his debut self-tilted EP, Baker shows just why Red Bull's prescience was warranted. Traveling to London's Snap Studios to record the EP with producer Andy Lovegrove (Supergrass, Breaks Co-Op), Baker spent upwards of 12 hours per day over four days with Lovegrove crafting the EP, 'on each of those days, basically, we put in all we could, all the energy and vibe we could muster to make this EP as good as we could', with Baker saying 'meeting Andy Lovegrove and recording this E.P. was certainly the main reason I came over here, and when I met Andy face to face, I knew for sure that this thing was gonna vibe because we were just really connected and easy going'.
An 'instrumentation of voice, acoustic guitar and strings', the EP is anchored by Baker's stunning voice, the sophisticated, spare arrangements of the songs providing space for the instinctive and intuitively emotive colors of his voice to shine through as his smooth, strong and soulful tonal resonance imbue delicate and articulate phrasing with a tender beauty, Baker on brief occasion injecting the power he holds in judicious reserve to give a glimpse of an underlying current of passionate intensity. Conjuring contemplative and introspective moods with the delicate facility of his acoustic guitar as he addresses the tumult of emotions that stir the heart and soul, the addition of a sting quartet suffuse the tracks with further layers of thought-provoking vulnerability and tender sensitivity, Baker saying 'it was an amazing process working with strings for the first time...it brought a silkiness, or velvet texture to the songs'; 'Birds' reflects on the at times ephemeral, transient nature of love and the courage required to be vulnerable enough find it; looking for hope past the weary burden of the loneliness of heartache informs 'Heavy Stone'; 'Back On My Feet' is a gently swelling, heartfelt plea to someone about the redemptive power of their love; Baker yearns for the essential currency of self-acceptance and identity that is love as 'Love' builds to a vocal crescendo; 'The Way' speaks of how the past can haunt while looking to a brighter day, Baker's stunning vocal ability on full display.
With his self-titled debut EP, the breathtakingly talented Louis Baker has delivered a magnificent example of the compelling power of an an artistic vision that eschews the facile temptations of meretricious artifice, reminding listeners that the timeless ingredients of the purity of the human voice and an artist willing to give openly and honestly of themselves is the unchanging cornerstone of meaningful and profound artistic expression.