“There is a purity and strength in Mahoney’s vocals, an unfailing precision and confidence that shines through. But there is also great fluidity and an ability to tap into a vulnerable place that allows the emotion in her songwriting to take its place right alongside that incredible gift of vocal range she possesses.”
Artist: Caitlin Mahoney
EP: West for a While
Genre: Pop / Urban Folk
RIYL: Ingrid Michaelson, Laura Cantrell, Norah Jones, Camera Obscura
When Caitlin Mahoney’s submission came through, I felt like I’d already been inundated with a massive pool of self-proclaimed female folkies. How surprised and relieved was I when I went to press play on West for a While? Caitlin’s crystalline voice rings through with clarity, precision and distinction from the first note to the last on this four-track EP.
“West for a While” sets the tone with a catchy, relatable melody that pays homage to country roots without going twangy. Think classic country meets urban folk: Patsy Cline with a modern twist. It’s the type of song you want playing when you hit the open road with the top down. And it offers the perfect introduction to Mahoney’s quirky vocal stylings. “Wrong” is all kinds of right as it picks up where the lead track left off, putting Mahoney’s effortless vocals and delightfully unexpected sense of rhythm and melody front and center. It’s a strong track and shows off a playful personality with just the right amount of sass.
“Devil on the Side” gives listeners a more lush and developed sound, moving right past folk and roots into a sound that breathes life into a blend of neo-soul and pop. This is the track that stuck with me well after repeated listens, a delicious and saucy piece of material that moves with confidence. “You Are a Safe Place” is sparse to start, showcasing Mahoney’s spectacularly assured vocals and adding in atmospheric and well-placed guitar alongside some wonderfully rich vocal harmonies. This is a standout track for sure, building to a crescendo and showing off the vocal shops Mahoney possesses at her very easy disposal.
There is a purity and strength in Mahoney’s vocals, an unfailing precision and confidence that shines through. But there is also great fluidity and an ability to tap into a vulnerable place that allows the emotion in her songwriting to take its place right alongside that incredible gift of vocal range she possesses. To think that this is a debut EP is a bit mindblowing. Caitlin Mahoney makes it look and sound easy; if it were, everyone would sound this good. With West for a While, Mahoney has tapped into something magical and sweet.
Caitlin Mahoney website: http://www.caitlinmahoney.com/