Cookie Baker’s all at once aching and uplifting upcoming single ‘The Summer’ ft Aussie folk and rock legend Tim Rogers of YOU AM I, is set for release Mon 1st May 2017. And oh lordy. Us here at The Ladies Network could not be more excited to be premiering this pearler of a heavenly new track from our new contemporary folk, alt-country dream gal.
We had the pleasure of chatting to Cookie about her new song and it’s upcoming release.
Thanks so much for chatting with us Cookie. You were born in South Australia and the music video was shot around the farm where you grew up on the Southern Yorke Peninsula. Was music a deeply rooted part of your childhood? (if so, who were your music hero’s that you had on constant loop?)
No worries and thanks for the chat!
I don’t come from a particularly musical family, but there was always music on in the house and it was always encouraged. Mum had a pretty rad record collection. Still does and I’ve nicked a few of those now! Janis Joplin and Fleetwood Mac were the constants. I became obsessed with Deborah Conway’s ‘String Of Pearls’ when that came out. Later on, it was Lisa Loeb’s ‘Tails’ after Reality Bites was released and my sister bought ‘Stay (I Missed You)’ on good old cassingle. Our neighbours at the farm up the hill were huge Dolly Parton fans and I think she affected me more than I realised at the time because now I love her. I watched a LOT of musicals and a lot of ballet on television with my grandmother. My grandmother in general was a huge influence on me. She always encouraged creativity and expression.
Was there a relationship for you between music and the isolation of growing up on a farm?
Strangely enough, no. There was always music around and I was encouraged by my parents to participate in whatever I wanted to musically as far as lessons and camps and things like that. What really did affect me though was when a youth theatre group was started by a theatre director who moved to the Peninsula when I was eight. I wanted to act as a kid, and there were no opportunities of the sort at the time. When she moved to the area, my world completely changed. Melodramatic little shit that I was finally got an outlet!
The video features the gorgeous raw and natural backdrops of the Peninsula’s vast swampland, salt pans and extreme sandbars. Do you feel like this unique terrain influenced you as an artist?
As an adult, definitely. It’s wild and it’s windy and it’s dusty and parts of it are quite bizarre.
It’s also spectacularly beautiful. I haven’t written about it much as a subject matter, but physically being in that environment always kicks the writing cogs into gear.
The children in the music video really evoke such a strong sense of a more innocent time lost. Yet there’s an uplifting hope in that shines through in the song as well. There’s a true and resonate paradox of the sweet and sad effect that nostalgia can create. Can you tell us a little about where this song originated, a particular experience, or reflection on a relationship or memory?
The song is really about longing, wanting what you can’t have, and the denial and guilt that can knock you around in the aftermath. It’s very personal and it’s quite heavy, but in saying that, writing The Summer all feels like a bit of a dream now. I feel that certain nostalgia now about the song itself too.
You also founded Melbourne based babe-choir, IF YOU SEE HER, SAY HELLO. That sense of female energy and community in music seems very important to you. Can you tell us about that and what inspired its inception?
Ah yes, our babe choir is a lot of fun! I’d had this idea brewing for a while, it was near the beginning of 2015 that the seed was planted, and it wasn’t just a choir I had in mind. I had a pretty specific performance format I’d come up with, this idea of quite a big group of female singer/songwriters essentially ‘tag-teaming’ a central mic to perform one original song, whilst the rest of the group accompanied them with vocal arrangements which we collaboratively arranged. It was a pretty huge undertaking – there’s no way in hell I could’ve done it without Brooke Russell, who I asked to be my partner-in-crime and became the choir’s Musical Director. But what started as just a cool idea soon became really important to everyone involved. That supportive energy and community you mentioned IS really important to me. Intimacy too. We all fed off of it, it’s an incredibly supportive environment and it has really inspired us all.
Thanks so much for chatting Cookie!
Following the release of “Little Engine”, “The Summer” is the second track from Cookie’s upcoming Album. “The Summer” is available for pre-order today and available globally Monday 1st of May.