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(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Album Review: Caitlin Rose – The Stand-In

 
By on Monday, 25th February 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

Caitlin Rose The Stand-In coverCaitlin Rose does country music the old-fashioned way, rightfully earning comparisons to artists like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Her authentic Americana style, unfairly marginalized into the alt-country category, is untouched by the cliché-laden, factory-produced sound that prevails in contemporary mainstream country music. On sophomore album ‘The Stand-In’, Rose blends folk, gospel, and blues with simple, plain-spoken lyrics and a singing voice that alternates between sweet and sultry without becoming overly twangy.

Throughout the album, Rose’s singing switches easily from sweet softness to supple throatiness, depending upon the emotion of the moment. Her voice does lack weight at the bottom of her register, which occasionally leaves her sounding whiny instead of weary. The higher part of the voice, however, is beautiful at both ends of the dynamic spectrum, and Rose takes full advantage of that ability.

As a whole, ‘The Stand-In’ calls to mind images of a smoky bar at last call, when only the hardcore drinkers and the lonely hearts are left to pair off or fend for themselves. Opening track ‘No One to Call’ (stream below) has a drunkenly stumbling rhythmic figure at the end of its chorus. ‘Pink Champagne’ is a charmingly woozy, unabashedly sentimental two-step, which I could easily hear playing from a jukebox on a nearly-empty dance floor. The album’s swan song ‘Old Numbers’ is another allusion to drunk-dialling, but its sultry jazz trumpet and slippery guitar solo are more suggestive of old pay phones than modern mobiles.

Close attention to the seemingly straightforward lyrics yields a broad spectrum of dark emotion. First single ‘I Was Cruel’ (live version below) puts a masochistic twist on the typical lovelorn break-up song. Its ending, sung in a beautiful clear tone, takes a slight detour in perspective: “Peace of mind, honey, I’ll treat you kind, sometimes. / I’m a selfish man with my head in my hands, and I’m crying for you.” In ‘Dallas’, Rose cuts her sweet singing with edgy lyrics, “let’s move this fucking jet, I have to go, despite all sleet and snow”. (Also worth noting here are classic country references to a “portrait in velvet” and a “3-night run at The Palace.”) The chorus of ‘When I’m Gone’ is one of the album’s most memorable lyrics: “Come on, you can sleep when I’m gone, I was lying when I said there’d be plenty of time.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOipdIcoiNI[/youtube]

‘Everywhere I Go’ is something of an outlier on the album. With its driving rhythm section and clear keyboard quality, it could easily fit on a more pop-oriented record, if not for the ever-present slide guitar. ‘Menagerie’, an upbeat four-to-the-floor number, has a strident guitar riff and the equally strident lyrics, “I’m gonna dance over broken glass and destroy all of these beautiful things.”

Overall, ‘The Stand-In’ doesn’t stray far from the formula that worked so well for Rose on debut album ‘Own Side Now’. Lyrical depth, musical variety, and emotional authenticity once again balance Rose’s silvery singing and clever charm. Mainstream country ingénues could certainly take a lesson or two from this talented singer.

8/10

‘The Stand-In’, Caitlin Rose’s second album, is out today on Names Records. She starts a UK tour tonight at Brighton Haunt; the details of the tour are below. After that she will return to America for SXSW 2013, where she will showcase at Club De Ville on Friday 15 March at 8:00 PM, then go out on a tour of the East Coast and Midwest.

Monday 25th February 2013 – Brighton Haunt
Tuesday 26th February 2013 – Bristol Fleece
Wednesday 27th February 2013 – London Dingwalls (sold out)
Thursday 28th February 2013 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 1st March 2013 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Saturday 2nd March 2013 – Glasgow CCA
Sunday 3rd March 2013 – London Brixton Windmill
Monday 4th March 2013 – London Rough Trade East

 

(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Video(s) of the Moment #1136: Lianne La Havas

 
By on Sunday, 24th February 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Lianne La Havas is getting ready to take America by storm. She’ll be having her first official showcasing at this year’s SXSW in Austin in March; we profiled her in the UK pop acts chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 a couple weeks back. This will be followed by a massive North American tour, where she will be supported by Jamie N Commons. For now though, we’ve got the 2-part video ‘film’ for ‘Elusive’ and ‘Gone’, both off her 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’. Watch them below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVS3crqBzSA[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwHtaCTEitE[/youtube]

 

(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #1133: Frightened Rabbit

 
By on Saturday, 23rd February 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

February should be dubbed ‘Frightened Rabbit Month’, should it not? The band released ‘Pedestrian Verse’ at the start of the month; read Carrie’s review of the album here. Last week we showed you the video for ‘Today’s Verse’, the b-side to ‘The Woodpile’. Having graduated from indie label Fat Cat to major Atlantic, there’s no doubt the band must be gearing up for what will no doubt be their star turn at this year’s SXSW. One of their appearances will include a visit to the Belmont on Thursday night, 14 March. But right now, we’ve got the brand new video for ‘Backyard Skulls’. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx7dF89a3z4[/youtube]

 

(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) MP3(s) of the Day (and more including an album stream!) #738: Atlas Genius

 
By on Monday, 18th February 2013 at 10:00 am
 

I caught Adelaide, Australia’s Atlas Genius open for Wolf Gang at this DC show in October. Consider this your notice ahead of their stratospheric rise to fame, as the band release ‘When It Was Now’ in America on Warner on Tuesday. The band are currently supporting Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons on a North American tour, before they shimmy themselves over to Austin for this year’s SXSW in March. Catch them play KCRW’s showcase at the Haven on Wednesday 13 March and The Warner Sound’s showcase at the Belmont on Thursday 14 March.

They’re offering up an acoustic version of ‘If So’ recorded at Electric Lady Studios absolutely free. There is a great video of the band recording it, which I’ve also included below. I’m in such a giving mood, I dug up two more remixes of their track ‘Backseat’, reimagined by Aislyn and Goldroom, for you to have for free too. And to top it all off, you can have a listen to the whole album before it comes out tomorrow, because I’ve embedded the stream for you. ‘cos sharing is caring, right?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1sWbRd0wJA[/youtube]

 

(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #1130: Local Natives

 
By on Sunday, 17th February 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Here is the promo video for Local Natives‘ ‘Heavyfeet’, a song they premiered at CMJ last October. It appears on their latest album ‘Hummingbird’, released last month, is getting across the board plaudits.

For sure, the California band will be burning the midnight oil at this year’s SXSW. Their two official showcases at SXSW 2013 are both at 1 AM: at the Lustre Pearl as part of the Frenchkiss Records showcase on Wednesday 13 March, and at the Mohawk on Thursday 14 March.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2zWfxW60z0[/youtube]

 

(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #1128: Frightened Rabbit

 
By on Saturday, 16th February 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Frightened Rabbit have released their deity-themed promo vid for ‘Today’s Cross’, the b-side to ‘The Woodpile’, the first song from their current album ‘Pedestrian Verse’ revealed last December. Read Carrie’s review of the album here.

The Scots were a late addition to the SXSW 2013 line-up; their featured official showcase appearance is directly before the Joy Formidable on Thursday night, 14 March, at the Belmont.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM-EXPihO9w[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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