Ever since I received the preview copy of Quite Frankly, the debut album of Nina Baker, I have been listening to it almost constantly. Especially in the car on a trip to Switzerland last weekend, which could be described as two journeys rolled into one. Playing an album so much is what I do when it really touches me. And that is what Nina’s pure voice combined with great musicianship does.
Nina Baker attended the BBC Introducing Master Class 2013 and MTV’s Brand New for 2013, the unsigned competition she registered for five minutes before the deadline, not thinking anything would come out of it. She took the second place, out of about 200 contestants. Both events provided her with many contacts and gave her a lot of exposure and publicity. For the past three years, the young artist has been building up a faithful fan base through her live performances, networking and social media presence.
A trained pianist, Nina spent the last 18 months writing and recording the 13 songs (plus one hidden reprise) of Quite Frankly. Recorded in two parts, in Monmouth at Rockfield Studios and in London at The Church and Abbey Road Studios, the album shows who her influences are, among them Tori Amos and Kate Bush, while retaining a unique sound. Quite Frankly talks about relationships and about highs and lows, mixing lively tracks with darker ones. My personal favourite is Clown, a combination of poignant lyrics and haunting music. Stupid Mistake comes as a close second with its beautiful string harmonies.
Quite Frankly is due for release on January 6th, 2014. A digital release of Single Bed, the lead track, is scheduled on November 4th. Watch out for the lead track animated video on Nina’s YouTube channel, the work of well-known digital animator Steve Jones.
Nina Baker is also planning a UK & European tour in 2014. I will be there for sure.
Nina Baker Music
Disclosure: I received a copy of Quite Frankly free of charge for the purpose of this review. Words and opinions are my own.