In Caity Baser‘s caffeinated and vibrant pop world, every feeling is lit up in neon: from the breathlessness of a longed-for romance that’s on the cusp of fruition, to the extreme lows of just-been-dumped bitterness. She has an answer to everything; embracing her own mess is her rocket fuel. Baser can even make the squirmish feeling of pining for a crush sound like a breeze: “I wanna make the first move, but can I leave that up to you?”, she sings on ‘Kiss You’, before letting out a scream, implying that her infatuation is dizzying enough to defy words.
The Southampton-raised singer’s music is an invitation to share everything that she feels, an ethos that has established Baser as a crusader for chaos in British pop. At 20, Baser has been working towards her debut EP, ‘Thanks For Nothing, See You Never’ for two years as her online popularity has evolved, and her sights are set higher still. Given TikTok’s ubiquity, we’ve seen pretty much every possible outcome of how the app can beget success for new artists, from sending drum ‘n’ bass upstart Venbee to the Top 3 of the UK Charts to landing Cassyette a support slot for My Chemical Romance. Baser’s profile, however, has grown wilder than most: she brought in the biggest crowd on the BBC Introducing stage at last year’s Reading festival, proving her virality has started to translate into mainstream stardom.
On ‘Thanks For Nothing…’, Baser positions herself as a genuine personality with wit and energy to spare. ‘Pretty Boys’ rips into her bad, repeated habit of falling for guys “with nothing else to give”. The track’s tumbling breakdown brings in layered harmonies, offering perspectives of Baser’s failed romantic pursuits from gossipers, as well as through her own self-deprecating gaze. The part admission, part brag of ‘X&Y’ later takes a deadbeat ex to task over breakbeat elements and a whistling melody.
Baser excels when she paints these lively self portraits, which often double down on her droll humour and conversational delivery. However, the EP’s production doesn’t quite match her gleaming personality. It’s certainly not easy to write songs that are as catchy as they are verbose, but the use of bright and repetitive beats makes for a bubbly, if somewhat indistinct, backdrop.
While ‘Thanks For Nothing…’ is Baser at her most impish and spectacularly carefree, the EP also offers insight into her private growing pains. ‘Feel More Okay’ addresses mood swings over subtle keys, while ‘2020s’ offers a tour through her “claustrophobic” day-to-day worries. On the latter, Baser reels off insecurities borne from post-graduate life and a depleting social battery, punctuating her flow with a resigned sigh: “It’s tough, innit.” Her digs at impersonal cultural institutions – “Fuck the system,” she sings – however, expose the fact that she’s not always sure exactly what she’s trying to say. Her actions – including making tours affordable for all fans – speak louder and with more impact.
Yet as she throws herself into debut album mode, there’s plenty of time for Baser to hone her voice as an artist. It’s hard not to root for a songwriter that seems ready to take on everything young adulthood has to offer in her own unique and maximalist way.
- Release date: February 17
- Record label: EMI