Take a look at this picture of local musician / barista Michaela Caitlin, and ask yourself if she looks like the sort of girl who’s written more than one song about serial killers:
It’s a little hard to believe, but there’s a lot of darkness hiding behind Caitlin’s shy smile. On her first record, “Potential Broken Windows”, her sweet, breathy voice floats through songs about arson, murder, lost love and all sorts of horrible things.
Throughout the five-song EP, Caitlin’s girlish voice seems to be driven by some sort of lurking rumbling steam engine. There’s a lot of driving force in the music – on some tracks (like the standout “Arson”), it comes out of nowhere and keeps the songs from becoming cloying. Her sound reminds me of local bands Sultana and Kathryn Brawley mixed with the Decemberists darker sea shanties (I’d love to hear her do a cover of the Decemberists’ “Mariner’s Revenge Song”).
“Potential Broken Windows” is full of, well, potential. Michaela Caitlin is only 21, and this is her first record. I’m curious to know what she’ll sound like in a few years and if her songwriting will always stay so bleak. I’m hoping it’ll lighten a bit – not to the point of being perky, mind you, but just enough for some variety.
You can pick up Michaela Caitlin’s debut record at Otherlands (where she works) or through Sleepy Owl Records.