Caitlyn Smith - Starfire
It's been a (very) long time coming but finally, a year after signing her record deal, and 18 months after the EP of the same name, Caitlyn Smith's debut album is here. You might not know the name, but she's been writing songs for the likes of James Bay, Lady Antebellum, and Meghan Trainor for the last few years. Featured in the May 2016 edition of Rolling Stone's 10 New Country Artists it seems like Starfire has been under wraps for a while.
The Minnesotan's debut is a powerhouse in so many ways, whether it's her intimate songwriting on tracks like the raw 'Don't Give Up On My Love', the effervescent memories of 'St. Paul', the observation of the minutiae of human interaction on 'Scenes From A Corner Booth At Closing Time On A Tuesday', or the stunning vocals of 'Tacoma'. The real brilliance of Starfire is the combination of honest lyrics ('This Town Is Killing Me' nails the reality of struggling musicians in Nashville), changing up the musical styles ('Before You Call Me Baby' is blues rock worthy of the likes of Beth Hart), and vocal dexterity (take a watch of the live performance of 'Contact High' above).
Verdict then; well if you haven't gathered already, it's damn marvellous, a triumph, and another example of the sheer scale of talent behind the scenes in Nashville.