Up until a week ago, I had no idea who Cara Louise was. I saw her name on a Facebook post by Soul Step Records talking about her then up-coming 7″ Fragile Heart. The translucent record with what looked like blood splatters made in it just looked so cool. If you’ve kept up with my reviews over the past few years, you already know I have a good relationship with Soul Step Records. The biggest part of the relationship is consistency. No matter what record they ship me for a potential review, I usually fall in love with after the first playthrough. Fragile Heart is no exception.
As I was saying above, I knew nothing of Cara so my first listen has absolutely no preconceptions. First impressions of artists have the potential to be as important as bosses or dates. At the same time, it can be liberating! Such as the case within the first half of the title track. A jangly clean guitar, bright and cheery string arrangement, accompanied by Cara’s Americana-meets-blue eyed soul vocals. Its like hearing power pop for the very first time and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t smiling like a fool by the time the track was over.
The flipside “Empty Promise” reaches out a little further in modern indie-pop with the addition of swirling synth effects. But at the core of this medium tempo jam, we get a soulful ballad thanks to Cara’s tasteful callbacks to 1960s country. I know I keep spitting various adjectives trying to describe her vocals, but no word I come up with does it justice! There’s just something so comforting, sentimental, and just straight-up beautiful about her vocals and delivery that remind me of a sunny day. It’s very hard to explain but throw on a good set of headphones, drop the needle on this record and you will see what I mean first hand.
After going through both sides of this single, I read up about Cara Louise a bit and apparently she loves quite a bit of the music I tried to describe her with. I also found out this particular stage in her career has been about evolving as an artist. She has gone from acoustic folk and blossomed into this wonderful, alt-pop artist who should be headlining her own tours already.
I absolutely love checking out any artist I’m not familiar with but when a release is this satisfying, it’s truly magic. Just as with every single release before it, Soul Step Records has once again turned me into a life-long fan of Cara Louise. And this is only two songs! I can’t wait to see where her career goes after this single! Thanks, Soul Step!
Fragile Heart is available on extremely limited edition vinyl at Soul Step Records