Monday, 4 April 2022

NEW #49 Caity Baser


Next month Europe’s largest new music festival, Great Escape, once again hits Brighton’s shores. Often touted as the festival to discover ‘the next big thing’ (acts I’ve seen at the festival in the past include early outings for Adele, Haim, Foals, London Grammar, Mumford & Sons, Celeste, Years & Years, Rag N Bone Man and Bastille before Dan Smith was playing under that name) it has struck me that this year, probably more than any other, becoming that ‘next big thing’ is a bigger and harder task that at any point before. 

Amongst this year’s bunch of musicians, it’s also noticeable that, reflecting the times, solo artists make up a bigger % of names treading the boards. A quick bit of detective work will also show you that a fair number of these have already found some degree of prominence on TikTok. Of course, it’s too early to really see if starting a career on Tik-Tok leads to long term success. Will today’s stars of Tik-Tok be the big festival headliners of tomorrow or will they be flashes in the pan as technology coaxes music consumers into developing ever shorter attention spans?

I mention both the Brighton festival and TikTok because today’s new artist is currently residing in Brighton, having moved there from another south coast city Southampton. She first got noticed on TikTok when her fan base exploded after she sang some lyrics and melody over a jazz guitar loop. Ironically though, Caity Baser (this is Caity B not that Katy B) hasn’t been added to the line up for Great Escape this year. Maybe it’s a bit too early for her to replicate her studio sound yet?

And a great sound it is as well. If Lily Allen was part of the My Space generation, then perhaps Caity is the Tik-Tok equivalent. The bold, chattin-shite late-teens relatable songs such as Slut Shaming, Haters and STD with its hook-in-your-head chorus of  “I heard you got an STD from sleeping with Molly, Libby and Sophie, you had the nerve to cheat on me, karma’s a bitch and now it’s out of your league,” roll along with reggae and dubby grooves, brassy punches and dance beats that sound a little like something you might have heard in the early 90’s on Boomania or World Clique

But this isn’t just a nostalgia trip. Caity’s sometimes gobby lyrics are timestamped with a very ‘now’ flavour. You’ll get a flow full of Google, Whats App, phone issues and student debt in her songs, the most recent of which, Friendly Sex, is the best tune you’ll hear about shagging your friend with benefits this year, mixing her chatty rap style with clicky garage beats and acoustic guitars. Expect it to be soundtracking a lot of TikTok videos soon. Elsewhere, another track from her Lil CB mix tape called Say It Like That delivers a chirpier pop sound not that far from someone like Baby Queen. She can do piano balladeering as well as she does on Virtually, demonstrating that she’s no one trick pony.

Could Caity Baser be the next big thing then? Well, that's a little pre-mature, but she’s certainly got the songs and the social media engagement to grow an audience. She might have a song called Average Student, but she’s clearly better than that.

Caity Baser - Friendly Sex

Caity Baser - STD (Video)

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