New Zealand modern soul master Louis Baker releases his new EP, ‘Love Levitates’
‘Love Levitates’ takes his signature brand of modern-soul fused with heartfelt lyrics to bright, new territory. Working with producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Devin Abrams (Dallas Tamaira, Drax Project, Pacific Heights), the EP is Baker’s five-track concept of life – an intimate yet expansive journey of heritage – love, friendship, observation, and beyond.
The new EP marks the first full-length follow up to Baker’s critically acclaimed debut album ‘Open’, released in 2019. Proving his knack at crafting a killer radio hit, first single ‘Overdrivefeaturing NZ rapper/producer Kings -a sultry-pop banger about the ecstasy of new love – shot to No. 1 in New Zealand on release and has clocked over 400k Spotify streams.
On the uplifting and deeply personal opening track, ‘Brighter Day’ featuring The KTNA sisters on backing vocals, Baker pays tribute to the triumphs and adversities faced by his grandfather Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker who served in the 28th Maori Battalion.
The thumping, RnB-tinged ‘Won’t Forget‘ gives thanks to his “day 1’s”, a tight unit of friends that have stuck by him through thick and thin. While slow-burner ‘Into Your Life‘ builds over intoxicating guitar picks, and lush harmonies, and reflects upon being content with the present moment. The jazz-fused title track invites us further into Baker’s world where he summons a transcendent perspective and connects to ‘a love that lifts us to another place,’ a rare and profound feeling of higher consciousness. Damon Alabarn‘s collaborator, London based, New Zealand jazz legend Nathan Haines lends silky flute to Baker’s powerhouse vocals and poetic musings, lifting the entrancing groove to colourful heights.
Growing up with Eastern philosophy, Baker has always been fascinated by the concept of unity, which has shaped his worldview and informed his music-making process. ‘I love Eastern philosophy and poetry, particularly Taoist thought. This often sparks an idea or concept in me such as – the oneness of self and environment, or duality,’ he explains. ‘I think my Love Levitates EP as a whole is really about understanding how unfathomable and infinite life is, and how interconnected we all are.’
Love Levitates sees Baker scale up his ambitions, making tracks that confidently blend his much-loved soulful sound into funk, pop and RnB alike. He has channelled the classic musicality of his heroes, Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway, striving to imbue a vintage warmth into his work, along with the modern flavour of neo-soul artists D’Angelo and Anderson .Paak.
With over 25 million Spotify streams and a loyal global following, Louis Baker is undoubtedly one of the most compelling voices to emerge from New Zealand’s fertile musical landscape in recent years. After the release of his debut EP, which debuted at #3 on the New Zealand Top 40 Albums Chart, Louis teamed up with New Zealand-born, UK-based Ninja Tune signing Jordan Rakei on the track, ‘Just Want to Thank You’. The Red Bull Music Academy alumni debut album ‘Open’ was released in 2019 to international critical acclaim, with support coming from BBC 6 Music, Clash Magazine and Earmilk, among others. While back home, Louis has received prestigious nominations for Best Soul Artist and Best Māori Artist. Previous singles ‘Back On My Feet’ (2014), ‘Rainbow’ (2016), and ‘Black Crow’ (2018) have been recognised with APRA Silver Scroll nominations, the award recognises songwriting skills, sales and airplay performance by New Zealand artists.
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