Head right around the country and you’ll find music fans who have been hit by the Caiti Baker effect.
The vocalist and songwriter from Darwin has a voice that has a soulful quality some would indicate has been lived a few lives before. A quality that booms from the heart, embracing emotional tone wholly and openly.
Her journey from her 2017 debut album Zinc to her new EP, Dust (Part 1) has been one of immense creative and personal growth, and healing.
“It’s a new chapter for me.” she says. “During the time of Zinc, I was waking up after having the [chronic] fatigue for so long. Being on the road for 80% of that, I was obviously exposed to a lot of new things. Humans, experiences. It helped me grow and develop, not only as an artist, but as a human. That, I think, has given me the confidence to take control of the autonomy that I have.”
The new EP, the first of a four part series, is a demonstration of rebirth, acceptance and newfound resilience in her craft. For Caiti, exploring creative territory completely in the driver’s seat has been an endeavour of learning and redevelopment. Speaking openly about her process, Caiti is relishing in the opportunity she has had to not only harness creative control again, but to strengthen the dynamic with her band of collaborators.
Working with John and Paul Bartlett (aka Adelaide production duo SixFour) and longtime collaborator James Mangohig, Caiti’s musical output and identity has had strong support to bolster its growth.
“The four of us have been working on and off these songs for the last three years,” she explains.
“It’s all been at the direction of what I’ve wanted. Everyone is on the same page and everyone believes in what I want to do and what I want to say and how I want to present it. I guess I’m just growing into my own power and taking charge. Musical power, I would say.”
“I have a very supportive team, which I am very grateful for,” Caiti continues. “They really encourage and nurture artist growth at their own pace.”
“I’ve probably learned more from my own mistakes more than I have had the overall pressure from someone else. I’m the sort of person who, if I am under any pressure, I switch off. It’s not going to connect with me. I guess I’m really lucky that I haven’t had any pressures to be something that I’m not.”
The EP, which features the striking single ‘Gone’ and new track ‘Gasoline’, is an inviting and impassioned listen. Remaining ever unapologetic and defiant, the artist is empowered and ready to tackle this new chapter.
“For someone who has had chronic illness for quite a percentage of their life and learning about time management after not having a lot of it, it’s definitely a challenge.” she admits.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself. It feels really good. It looks good on me and it suits me. I’m backing everything that I do. If I make a mistake, then I’ve made the mistake. There’s no one else to take the fall or blame for it. As you get older, it becomes less scary, maybe.”
As you’ll be able to hear below with this exclusive ToneDeaf premiere, the presentation of Dust (Part 1) is one marked by an individual who has taken all the lessons learned over half a decade, experiences had and connections made, and channelled them intelligently an emotionally with self-awareness and flair.
As for how the music lands, Caiti is simply hopeful that people take the material and absorb it in their own way. Her mind is focused on bringing this music to life and continuing to thrive.
“I don’t tend to really care what anyone else thinks.” she says.
“I just want to make the music and art that I want to make, with people I want to make it with. Put it out and hopefully, there is an audience there that will enjoy it and interpret it however they feel.”