Good things take time. Not only is that true in the case of New Zealand songwriter Louis Baker, who we haven’t heard from since the single “Addict” a year ago, but also of the music that Baker returns with, the soul-fuelled, introspective groover that snaps and bumps with the piston fire of the rawest locked groove, smoothed, warmed and informed by one of the finest voices in contemporary music - “Black Crow”.
Written and produced in Sydney in six hours, “Black Crow” sounds like alchemy freed from an artist’s DNA, rather than the chiseled result of time and toil. Produced by Grammy-nominated Steve Rusch (Solange, Miguel, Ryan Tedder), the song’s deceptively simple, deeply organic production initiates a song about exorcising your demons, leaving the past behind and gaining wisdom through experience.
Accompanying the release is a stunning video from award winning director, Chris Graham (Scribe, Smashproof, Bic Runga, Trinity Roots) as he returns to making his first music video in three years.
‘I’ve been wanting to work with Louis Baker for years, so when I heard Black Crow, it really spoke to me. Being a song touching on the theme of mental health, a kaupapa I really care about, I wanted to make a video that did poetic justice to his song and mainly, provoke thought and dialogue for the audience about what the song and video are actually saying.” Says Graham.
Speaking about the inspiration behind “Black Crow”, Louis Baker says:
“The idea of bathing one's hands in indigo came about through an old Japanese proverb I read. I was fascinated with its idea- that a piece of fabric gets a deeper and richer colour tone if you repeatedly dye it. The proverb has a number of different meanings, but to me it is a metaphor about life, experience and growing wise with age.”
As we may strive to grow wise with age, this is a record that doesn’t try to sound more classic with every revolution, it just does so, effortlessly. It is soul forged from a voice that gets richer with every year, aligned with writing that gets more resonant with every listen. Black Crow’s implications of shaking negativity off your shoulder, and hope are moon-shadowed by Baker’s multi-instrumental finesse, pushing us from sentence to stanza, demanding that his story be told.
It’s the story with wide approval from Louis Baker’s fans who have given him 10 million Spotify plays worldwide for songs including “Rainbow” (4.7 million) and “Addict” (over 850,000). Other notable moments - Finalist APRA Silver Scrolls 2014 with “Back On My Feet”, Nominee APRA Silver Scrolls 2017 with “Rainbow”, Radio Active most played song of the year 2017 with “Gave It All Away”.
Black Crow is the first offering off a new record Baker is due to release later this year.
Louis heads to the UK and Europe for a 16 date tour including a headline show in London which sold out within weeks of the announcement.
‘Black Crow’ is out now on all digital streaming platforms. Find it on Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, Bandcamp, and YouTube.