Monday, February 15, 2016

...Put On Your Party Dress

From 2016 and her just released debut CD Debutante...

...please enjoy the haunting voice of Cait Brennan and -- what is perhaps my favorite track from the album -- her splendidly sort of folk-rock-ish "Underworld."

Trust me when I tell you that the entire album -- which is rather more stylistically wide-ranging than the song above might lead you to believe -- is every bit as insinuating. I've been trying to find a way to characterize it overall, but fortunately another reviewer -- Melissa Bratcher, at Popshifter -- did it for me.

Cait Brennan has an instantly recognizable voice, and, paired with her sugary power pop proclivities, makes the kind of music that stops me in my tracks. With an undeniable gift for writing hooky delights, she’s an heir to the throne of the greats: ELO, Nilsson, the Sweet, Rundgren. Her influences are all over her songs and Debutante is a sparkly kaleidoscope of AM Radio, 1970s pop, and confessional lyrics. It’s delightful.

Couldn't agree more, although I would add Big Star and Glam Era Mott the Hoople and David Bowie to the list of influences Cait wears on her sleeve (albeit not on the CD cover, where she's sleveeless). And I would be remiss if I didn't note that the record is beautifully produced, with plenty of sonic sheen but with a charming rough-hewn quality as well, by Fernando Perdomo (who was also involved with the new Emitt Rhodes album).

Meanwhile, I should add that -- besides being a terrific singer/songwriter -- Cait has a pretty amazing backstory. Which I knew nothing about until several weeks after I first fell in love with her record.

You can read about it over at her official website HERE, but suffice it to say she's quite a gal.

Meanwhile,you can -- and very definitely should -- order "Debutante" over at Amazon.

Seriously -- I know it's only February, but so far this is my candidate for Album of the Year.


Mark said...

Listened to the whole album while on my exercise bike this afternoon. I had heard nothing about the release of this album prior to your heads-up, but that only means that I had heard nothing about the release of this album until you mentioned it, but Steve, you're right on the money here. You can tick off Cait's sources (or reference points) while listening, and in addition to the ones you mentioned, I'd throw in Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak, which is like saying I'd throw in Roy Orbison and Roy Orbison. The range of Cait's sources (or types of music) here is pretty astonishing, and to me, the key elements of her backstory is not the transgender part or the crowd-funding part, but the fact that Cait is 47 (her birthday was yesterday), and that Cait intends to release the album, according to her web site, as an 8-track tape on March 21, I kid you not.

steve simels said...

I get lucky sometimes. This was one of them

Anna said...

I just popped over to Spotify to listen to the's really impressive stuff! But I hadn't spotted your "backstory" reference before doing I'm like, "wow, great voice, but a bit unusual". Then after reading the other reviews on her page...well, duh. She's trans, but makes no attempt to sing in a higher register (good, because that rarely works out well).

First new music in yonks that makes me want to go back and relisten immediately! Good find, Steve!

Anna said...

...and then, after my nightly 'netz, I went back to her homepage and found the Phoenix New Times article that says she's got Parkinson's disease.

GodDAMN that bastard disease, among so many others. Though since she's touring the US and UK, maybe it's not very advanced yet.

Oh, and on Twitter she thanks Steve profusely for this post, and then goes on to say that the album's currently at #23 on Amazon's "singer/songwriter" can tell she's surprised and delighted. And so am I.