Independent singer songwriter and New Zealander, Louis Baker (Cushla Aston) is inarguably one of the most compelling voices to emerge in recent years from New Zealand’s fertile musical landscape. Working with the bare essentials and crafting his work with a deep artistic integrity, Louis has gathered a loyal following that spans the world over. Everyone from India Arie (“Louis Baker, you sing my soul,”) to the international music community (BBC 6 Music, Clash Magazine, The Line of Best Fit, Earmilk) have shown love for what he is, and has become.
Today, Baker shares his new single “Addict”, the follow up to his previous single “Gave It All Away”, which was picked up by BBC 6 Music, Australian Double J, and featured on Red Bull Music’s 20 before 17 list.
To create “Addict”, Baker teamed up with two-time Ivor Novello winner and Grammy nominated songwriter and producer Sacha Skarbek, producer Josh Fountain (LEISURE) and fellow New Zealander Em-Haley Walker (aka. Theia), resulting in a song with a strong R&B sensibility and a seductive soul feel.
“Addict” combines a slow-burning arrangement that fuses Motown-styled guitar stabs and a 70s bass groove (played by Baker) with contemporary electronic production, allowing space for Baker’s mellifluous vocal range and soulful rawness to take the forefront. It’s the closest we have ever been to hearing his voice more akin to how he is in his live shows, showing the power and dexterity of his voice in a way that hasn’t been heard in the previous singles.
You don’t want to miss Louis Baker live this month, as he performs two shows in Auckland and Wellington with a full band. Inspired by vintage soul bands, this translates into his live show. “That’s where a lot of my influence stems from,” says Louis. “The night will have it’s soft, quiet moments, and it will also have high-energy parts where the roof could lift off.” There is something for everyone.
Louis Baker May NZ Tour:
May 19 - REC - Auckland - click here for tickets
May 20 - San Fran - Wellington - click here for tickets
Accompanied by full band:
Cory Champion (Electric Wire Hustle, Pacific Heights)
Johnny Lawrence (Electric Wire Hustle, Hollie Smith)
Daniel Hayles (Lord Echo, Hollie Smith, Richter City Rebels)
Praise for Louis:
“Many soul singers might wishfully compare themselves to Marvin Gaye or Otis Redding, but for Louis Baker, the comparison is truly deserved” – New Zealand Herald
“How can anyone have a voice this timeless and soulful" - Review 'Bearded Magazine' – Field Day
“He stops me every time and makes me listen, and that is a gift." – Graham Reid
Baker’s self-titled EP debuted at #3 on the NZ Album Charts, despite being completely self-released. Since then, he has been a finalist in the APRA Silver Scrolls awards for Song Of The Year in 2014 (“Back On My Feet”), and has built up over 6.5 million Spotify streams from fans across the world alike.
In August last year, he stopped us still with what might be one of the greatest love songs written in the last decade - his poignantly penned ballad “Rainbow”. Sunday Star Times music writer and long-time music critic, Grant Smithies said of the song, “A glorious song this – sad and sparse, wise and true, with a restraint to the vocal that suits the vulnerability of the love-lorn lyric.” Recorded at Red Bull Studios along with the following tracks - the gorgeous ballad “Fade” and his latest single “Gave It All Away” - these were the songs that marked a new chapter in Baker’s songwriting book. An evolutional thread to carry us through to more from this young singer songwriter in the near future.
Listen to “Addict” here:
Apple Music / iTunes: LINK