Transcendent artist Louis Baker recently released Love Levitates to critical acclaim. Here’s the story behind it, track by track.
The compelling artist is back to detail the tracklist for us, filling us in on inspirations, song meanings, and studio musings. Take a look below.
Brighter Day is a dedication to the triumphs and adversities faced by my grandfather Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Tu), who served in the 28th Māori Battalion. The song is inspired by the many harrowing experiences he went through during World War II, after learning about them in a letter I had read that my Dad showed me one day. He was incredibly determined and courageous. No matter what happened, he kept a positive mindset and looked for brighter days ahead. This is my letter to him.
Overdrive feat. Kings
I wrote Overdrive on the Gold Coast. It’s a song written about that moment when you meet someone new. When your heart skips a beat and you feel nervous. There’s things you want to say and things you want to do, but you know that it’s best to take it slow because your feelings are strong. It was really complimented by the rap Kings did on it. He’s a good dude and was super fun to work with.
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The title track Love Levitates is about the intrinsic and universal love that is innate in all things. Maybe you could call it a cosmic consciousness or a higher state of being. I dug into some poetic stuff on this that I didn’t in other songs, and it was inspired by some eastern philosophical concepts from the great sage, Lao Tzu, as well as some poets I love such as Emerson and Thoreau. It was great to collaborate with Aotearoa’s very own Jazz legend Nathan Haines, on flute. In a way, it’s my attempt to describe the indescribable.
This one was written when I was in London and thinking about home. It’s for my day ones, my best friends. They are the type of people that would be there for you at any time and any place. I wanted to show them love and let them know that I won’t forget all the love they have shown me.
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I did the guitar on this track in lockdown, and it was produced by Devin Abrams and me. At the time, I was listening to a lot of Wes Montgomery, so it’s definitely influenced by his phrasing and playing style.
Into Your Life
I remember feeling very depressed one day, so I rang my Dad. Life felt really out of control, and I was thinking about giving up on music because times were tough. He encouraged me and said that sometimes life is “undertow and overflow, but you’ve got to keep going”. These words stuck with me so I ended up writing, Into Your Life.
I produced and mixed this one, and the beautiful keys you can hear are played by Dan Hayles.
Listen to Love Levitates by Louis Baker below: