Local artist Cara Winter released her new album a few weeks back and it’s a collection of new and old songs redone with some lush string arrangements behind the piano and vocal delivery.
“Do You Have A Heart (The Mousey Song)” opens things up how the album proceeds. The piano sounds full and thick, the strings beautifully compliment the melody without taking over and Cara’s vocals are spot on. She has a way of making wonderful layers to her voice and its showcased here in this cute opener.
One of the standouts from her debut “Butterfly” returns to utterly devastate you. The stuttering piano and purposefully whimsy vocals are perfectly underscored with bass and strings. You could hear a spec of dust drop in my flat every time I listen to the track. Stunning. New track “Is This Love” has some wonderful lyrics and turns of phrases. “Would you like to buy my car? It’s driven me to hell and back” is classic. It’s a mature ballad, as they all are but it certainly sounds more complex than some of the reworked tracks.
“Chimney” is a lovely track that is made more powerful with the extra instruments compared to original recording. Cara’s voice is also a hushed whisper too and it adds more to the broken effect. “Woman’s Emancipation” is a deceptively simple new track which lacks the big kick I was expecting on the production but then it works because the whole feel of the album as a whole is a bit fragile and broken down. “Remember” is very similar, a track that’s over too soon as it has such a playful lead piano melody that is both innocent and slightly curious at the same time.
“Rebecca” is beautiful track which has personally taken a few listens to get used to having heard a version with drums on. There’s no percussion on the album at all. This version instead has some wonderful string arrangements attached and its one of the few opportunities where they do take the lead and show what they’ve got. It’s the other stand out track along with Butterfly and I urge new listeners to start with these tracks first. The closer “She’ll Go” is a concise but effective song that ends the album a bit more upbeat than where we’ve tread previously.
“Do You Have a Heart?” is short but wonderfully formed. It strips away so much and leaves you with just the pure melody and its a brave step. Cara Winter’s melodies though are more than enough to sustain that approach and we look forward to hearing more from her. I personally would like to see what she’d do with added percussion.