West For A While by Caitlin Mahoney (EP)

5 July, 2013 in Music Reviews

Caitlin Mahoney

‘West For A While’ sees New York-based songwriter Caitlin Mahoney writing folk that is both skilled and inescapably current

Caitlin Mahoney west for a whilehe first thing that strikes you about New York-based songwriter Caitlin Mahoney’s EP West For A While is Mahoney’s voice. It’s a gorgeous mixture of plaintive melody and mahogany strength, the type that’s equally equipped for the touching ballad and the empowering singalong. Once your ear becomes accustomed to this most beautiful weapon, though, it’s clear that the music more than backs up her vocal prowess.

The title track suggests a songwriter whose style is fitted perfectly for her time, replete as it as with the sort of pastoral folk that has made recent Glastonbury headliners Mumford & Sons the choice of millions of listeners. Wrong continues the theme of Mumford-esque folk, with enough sentimental romanticism thrown in to suggest that it would make a fitting musical backdrop to a Richard Curtis film.

Devil On The Side has a little more vulnerability and hints at the influence of the outstanding Laura Marling. Closer is the record’s most fragile moment, with its beautiful melody and touching vocal augmented by Keena O’Meara’s rich voice, reminiscent of the criminally underrated Scottish songwriter Rachael Sermanni.

Though Caitlin Mahoney is presently an unknown quantity, the skill, maturity and sense of now that is found on West For A While mean that her songwriting has real potential to reach from New York to London.

Verdict: Folk that is very much of its time – and that time is now

Damien Girling