CD review: All in the Golden Afternoon by Caitlin Harnett

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I absolutely loved Caitlin Harnett’s debut EP, Tiny Spark, but somehow missed the release of her second, All in the Golden Afternoon. Happily I’m now in possession of a copy and there’s more love.

Caitlin’s voice is wonderful, and on Golden Afternoon it displays its ability to be both vulnerable and strident, particularly on ‘Into the Wild’; the strident quality – well, it’s more probably more a developing confidence – was lurking on Tiny Spark but is more to the fore now, which is appropriate given that she was about 17 (from memory) when Tiny Spark was released.

Caitlin’s ‘lost love’ songs are wistful, and never bitter. They betray their author as a dreamer, and one who doesn’t let disappointment get her down for long. She can be sad but doesn’t let it develop into misery. I haven’t successfully put either of her CDs on in the background – I always want to listen to what Caitlin’s singing (her lovely enunciation makes this very easy).

Golden Afternoon is a progression from Tiny Spark, as it should be – musically these songs are more fleshed out, no doubt because there’s more of a band behind them. Tiny Spark was more delicate, and charming with it. Golden Afternoon sounds like it should be half of an album: it’s a mature song cycle with some muscle behind it, and the siren’s voice still calling us closer.

www.caitlinharnett.com

Caitlin’s EPs are independently released – you can buy them via her website or on iTunes.

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