Caitlyn Smith - 'Everything To You'
American singer-songwriter Caitlyn Smith debuted her new EP - entitled Everything To You on October 28th. Regular blog readers will remember my interview with her earlier this year (which you can read here), this is her first release since then and includes seven tracks, Fever, Dream Away, Wasting All These Tears, Everything To You, Grown Woman, Novocaine and All My Lovers.
Wasting All These Tears is a title that will be instantly recognisable to many country fans as the lead single from Cassadee Pope's debut album. Written by Caitlyn and Rollie Gaalswyk, the version of the track on Caitlyn's release follows closely to the production heard on Cassadee's version with the main difference being the two artist's voices. Caitlyn has more the more folk sounding voice of the two and whilst she gives a strong performance it is not my favourite track of hers, she excels on the slower, more stripped back tracks generally in my opinion.
My favourite track on the release is the title track Everything To You. Opened with a solo banjo line, Caitlyn's vocals enter after a short instrumental and the overall production builds when entering the chorus whilst still keeping the banjo line. Lyrics such as "I'm tough as concrete when you need me to be" and "there's nothing I can't do as long as I am everything to you" are really touching and prove Caitlyn's talent as a songwriter. The production is at a perfect level for Caitlyn vocally and I am sure many listeners will quickly find themselves singing along to the track.
Novocaine is another strong track. One of the rockiest tracks on the EP, Caitlyn delivers a gutsy vocal that fits in nicely with the heavier production. Led by a pacey mandolin line upon opening, the song has a relatively heavy production and gives Caitlyn space to show the power behind her vocals. The rise and fade of both the vocals and production works well, with lyrics such as "give me a shot, strong as you got" almost punched out compared to a soft "no holy prayer is going to save me, this love affair is like a shallow grave".
The blues influence in All My Lovers is well thought through and the verses are really strong, I do however find myself wanting to pull Caitlyn's vocals back at various points. I personally feel the track would be stronger with a more stripped back production, the short electric guitar solo sticks out as a little awkward however the softer moments are undoubtedly the strongest in the track.
This is a very impressive EP and begs to be listened to on repeat. As I mentioned the last time I featured Caitlyn on the site she has fast become one of my favourite female country vocalists, her folk sounding tone is really strong and she sounds comfortable in each of the tracks on Everything To You. Caitlyn has written tracks for some of country music's leading artists in the past (for instance, the title track from Lady Antebellum's new album 747) and in this release she shows that she should be seriously considered as a singer in her own right.