Musicians, like policemen, are looking younger and there is a new young musician on the beat. Southend-on-Sea based Caitlin King has only just turned 16 and has released a début EP Flower Crown which shows a lot of promise.
Caitlin has been writing since she was 12 and it’s encouraging to see that all five tracks on the EP are her own compositions. That’s a brave choice as the temptation must be to put a couple of well known covers in, but it also means that the performer has a chance to establish their own identity and not bind themselves to a particular genre.
I would pitch this album in the folk realm, as the songs are very personal, but it certainly isn’t just a folk album. It has to be mentioned that Caitlin may lack years but has experienced loss in her life, which influences two of the tracks in particular.
‘Metaphor’, the opening number, is about facing loss and having to deal with that the time leading towards it where hope begins to fade and praying for the best doesn’t work. This track is quite pop orientated and is the only one that has a drum accompaniment.
‘In The Wilderness’, which follows it, is musically a much simpler track with just voice and guitar and is very much a song of somebody whose life is starting to take on a new direction and with new distractions such as relationships. It has more of a folk feel and is rather beautiful.
‘Heal your Heart’ is a song that also refers back to Caitlin’s loss but what this song has in common with ‘Metaphor’ is that it has a positive message that throughout everything love remains and that love becomes part of the healing process.
For ‘Flower Crown’ Caitlin accompanies herself on piano. There a blues feel in a song about basically about love and being there for people and has an impressive build before ending with a gentle outro.
‘Like You Once Did’ returns back to the folk idiom and can also be considered a love song although the love isn’t happy and fulfilling. Interestingly this song also includes spoken words, which is something not often heard in songs and yet it works very well here. Hearing Caitlin’s real voice, with even a few “you know’s” thrown in for good measure, does bring home how young she is.
Caitlin’s voice, as with the songs, can vary across the tracks. She’s certainly capable of putting on an accent that would not be out of place in a jazz bar but she also has a simpler and, for me, more natural sound that is very pleasant. As a début this EP does exactly what it should. Caitlin has set out her stall and showcased her talents well. There’s a good range of skills on display and she’s not afraid to experiment, but also manages to avoid the trap of attempting to over-complicate things for effect. It’s a very promising start, from somebody learning their trade the right way, and I think there is more to come.
The album was released at the end of 2017 and is now available to download or stream through various platforms including iTunes and Amazon.
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‘Flower Crown’ – official video: