Caitlin Mae is like a phoenix rising from the ashes on her debut EP ‘Perspective’. The Welsh artist has laid bare her pain and anguish over four tracks but has also introduced hope and healing into them too. Therein is contained a heady mixture of raw feeling and mature reflection as Caitlin looks to exorcise the demons of her past through acceptance and change. The EP feels like a form of therapy as a result.
Opening track ‘Country Eyes’ contains a cleverly-written chorus that captures a real sense of despair; though ultimately, in the bridge, it is tempered with hope. Even the fiery and vengeful anger of ‘Gasoline’, underscored by heavy rock, feels like a form of release. The line “I ain’t gonna stick around to punish you myself” is the epitome of this. Such a decision – to stop wasting time putting out someone else’s fire and instead, channelling one’s energy into something positive elsewhere – holds much merit. It also represents the central theme of this EP: letting go and moving on.
‘Take My Demons’ may shift gear temporally, tonally, and musically from the previous two tracks. However, contained in Mae’s high, almost strained vocals is again this sense of journeying from one state to another. It is displayed most completely in the line “rising from your hate/ I build a better fate”. The light synth and RnB vibes may work to understate the story being told here. On the other hand, they accentuate a quiet resilience forged in the midst of suffering which builds character and hope. This is not to be underestimated.
It reveals itself most wonderfully in the final track on the EP, ‘Slam the Door’. There are echoes of early Taylor Swift in both its sound and storytelling, demonstrating the real potential for Caitlin Mae to grow into an accomplished musician. The line “darkness very rarely wins” sums up beautifully the overarching feeling on this record. It is one of many instances where Caitlin Mae’s lyrical ability can already be seen to be blossoming. In fact, this is probably her greatest strength. She tells her story, her truth, so honestly and unapologetically that her experience has the power to positively affect the listener. It does so in such a way that ‘Perspective’ becomes a kind of serenity prayer, as Caitlin Mae comes to accept the things she cannot change, courageously changes the things she can, and demonstrates the wisdom to know the difference. Watch her soar in popularity with this EP as a result.
Review written by Gareth Williams (twitter.com/lostinbluejazz1)