KCRW’s Global Beat is a new series highlighting emerging artists from around the world. We’re kicking the series off with our friends in Australia by partnering with The Australian Music Alliance and the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap), a uniquely Australian organization designed to support Australian music on public radio.
KCRW DJ Raul Campos hosts along with Amrap Manager Andrew Khedoori for weekly Aussie artist spotlights. This week Caiti Baker makes us swoon, Aussie renaissance man Tim Shiel is amplified by some very cool women, and Emma Donovan is out to make you a believer. Catch up on all the artists from the series (plus bonus tracks!) with our Global Beat: Australia playlist.
Caiti Baker - “Mellow”
Caiti Baker comes from Larrakia land in the Northern Territory of Australia, which continues to produce some seriously bold talent. Others coming out of that region include Global Beat Australia alumni Baker Boy and King Stingray. Caiti Baker first gained attention as part of a duo called Sietta, who made a couple of albums of very brassy, trip-hop influenced neo-soul. Her solo work consists of unashamedly big and velvety R&B songs. Though this new single “Mellow'' takes it down a couple of notches, as the title suggests, you’ll still find incredibly slick production that Caiti Baker absolutely owns.
This is a collaboration that was essentially crowd sourced on Twitter. Tim Shiel, who is quite the character in Australian music, asked for suggestions and Kaitlin Keegan came up. A bit of background on Tim Shiel: He presents a daily national radio show, runs a label called Spirit Level, and he’s toured the world with Gotye in his live band.
He's also a great producer in his own right. His latest endeavor has been to put a relatively unknown singer from Western Australia, Kaitlin Keegan, at the forefront of his latest track “Sparrow.” Keegan really commands the space on this track, which is no small feat because the beats are beautifully, and delicately spun.
Emma Donovan comes from country music stock, having grown up singing alongside her musical family. She’s also been a part of the beloved vocal acoustic group Stiff Gins. Then began her solo exploration of soul, gospel, and reggae. In 2013, amidst all of her various musical journeys, she teamed up with one of the great soul/funk bands from Melbourne, The Putbacks. It's been an inspired pairing ever since.
They just released their third album titled “Under These Streets,” and the track “Love Without Limit” is a standout. It's a slow burning ballad where you can hear the amazing range in Emma's voice. She’s really plumbing the depths of emotion. The song is about community and perseverance. Emma Donovan’s strength really shines, and so does the message. It's all about the power of the positive, and she’ll make you a believer.