CAITI Baker jokes that "there's lots of random shit in Darwin." Indeed the Northern Territory capital is renown for its colourful cast of characters.
Maybe it's the tropical heat, the crocodiles, its newspaper the NT News which publishes ridiculous front page headlines like "Why I Stuck A Cracker Up My Clacker" or because Darwin is a bloody long way from everywhere else.
Darwin is also stunningly beautiful as anyone who's watched the sun set over the Mindel Beach Markets can attest.
Baker has spent most of the past decade coming and going from her hometown touring firstly with her former electro-soul band Sietta and then as a solo artist.
But last year she took a year off from the road to ground herself in Darwin. The coronavirus pandemic means that the one year has turned into an 18-month sabbatical at home.
However, it's been a productive spell. Firstly last November she released the EP Dust (Pt.1) and then immediately began writing a host of songs inspired by Darwin, its environment and its people with collaborator and producer James Mangohig.
Spurred on by the bush fire disaster down south she watched from afar, Baker and Mangohig wrote and recorded at a cracking pace over the summer. By February the tapes were ready to be sent for mastering in New York.
The result is the concept album, Mary Of The North, Baker's second full-length record.
"There's the unique characters that live here who are Darwin famous," Baker says. "There's definitely inspiration I've drawn from my community.
"I took off most of 2019 from touring to gear up to tour in 2020, but obviously that didn't happen. So I've been home for a very long time in my community.
"Because I was immersed in my community and I write about what's happening in my life and that's what was happening. I have a deep love for this place and I wanted that to reflect in the music."
Mary Of The North is another eclectic addition to Baker's catalogue. It combines everything from country blues (Green Eyes) to R'n'B (Mirror) to trip-hop (She's Cruel).
One of the tracks, Worth It, was even recorded partly inside Darwin Correctional Centre with a group of female inmates. Baker was initially invited by her friend Johanna Bell 18 months ago to write a theme song for her podcast series, Bird's Eye View, about the lives of women in prison.
Sound effects taken from inside the prison were used to give the electro-soul a gritter edge.
"Then we went into the prison and met with the women a number of times and listened to their stories and laughed and they sang," Baker says. "We wedged ourselves into a tiny toilet all 15 of us and got the reverb and the vibes and cut it up and chucked it into the song.
"The women love it, they're super proud of it."
And what about the album title? Who is Mary of the north?
"Mary is an energy, a spirit, a mood, she's a vibe," Baker says. "She's obviously an element of myself and a particular plant. She's a lot of different things.
"She narrates and makes her way through the journey. She's interpreted by the listener I hope."
Caiti Baker's Mary Of The North is out now.