A product of a generation ‘eternally on the internet’, Caity Baser rapidly rose to fame in the first lockdown of 2020 when she created a TikTok account and posted an original song that went viral. Written from the confines of her bedrooom, ‘Average Student’ quickly accumulated over 1M views, attracting the attention of a record label who invited Baser to meet with producers Future Cut. The song was released on Spotify 7 months later.
Two years on, Baser has amassed a hardcore Gen Z fanbase, released a further 12 tracks, various B-sides and a 6 song EP featuring ‘X&Y’ and ‘Pretty Boys’, both of which had stints as trending sounds on TikTok. Her first UK Tour, ‘Thanks For Nothing, See You Later’, sold out multiple dates. I caught her in her ‘second home’ town of Brighton for a show packed with infatuated young fans who screamed along to every word of the hour long set.
20-year-old scouser and fellow TikTokker Michael Aldag opens the gig, full of youthful confidence and charismatic chat, fun vocals and electronic riffs. Despite the upbeat tempo and playful titles of Aldag’s tracks, each conveys the weight of being a 21st Century teen. Lightheartedly introducing ‘Teenage Drama’ as “a song about texting your ex”, the lyrics go deeper than advertised – “You thought it was love but it wasn’t // And I’ll always get what I wanted //Swerve being sweet, I’m so toxic” – and convey feelings of shame and self doubt. Similarly, ‘APATHY’ expresses feelings of crippling anxiety and loneliness. Despite cracking jokes on stage, Aldag’s lyrics work to normalise the social fears and pressures of 2023 society.
Wearing a baby blue, fuzzy dress and long, furry leg warmers over her white New Balance trainers, Baser exudes confidence as she bounces onto the stage, accompanied by her drummer and guitarist. Rattling through almost her entire back catalogue with a speed to mirror her signature snappy vocals, she makes certain to take time to interact with the crowd, chatting to fans, taking audience member’s BeReals and accepting gifts of flowers and teddies that had been bought for her. Thanking the room multiple times for getting her where she is today, Baser had also been outside pre-gig to chat to audience members vying for a place at the barrier, and it’s clear how dearly she values her fan base – and why those fans feel so connected to her and her music.
Feel-good, bubblegum-pop tracks such as ‘Friendly Sex’ and ‘2020’ draw in the audience with upbeat choruses and feisty lyrics, and a sea of hands sway in the air as the lights change from pink to blue to purple. Meanwhile, ‘Kiss You, Pt. 2’, a slowed, emotional version of Baser’s track of the same name, quietens the crowd; the light glinting off the disco ball shrouding the the room in a thousand tiny glimmers and creating a magical atmosphere.
An artist that resonates deeply with her generation, Caity Baser writes tracks that young people today can relate to and performs them with a strength and tenacity that really brings them to life. From being fed up of having to suffer through to consequence of 2020s circumstance, to pushing back at partners who are afraid of commitment, Baser has grasped the attention of a Gen Z nation, and has absolutely nailed an engaging live performance.