January 12, 2009

Caithlin De Marrais - My Magic City (2008)

I love this record! Rainer Maria fans will have something to enjoy while they spend their days waiting for a much-needed reunion tour and, dare I say, new album(?). Former lead vocalist Caithlin De Marrais released her first solo release, My Magic City, and it is just... luminous. Lovely. Lush. It's just a really great record about her magic New York city. I can't stop listening and I absolutely love the versatility of her songs. It's soft and pleasant enough to listen to during those early morning hours as you ready yourself for work or for in-between daytime hours while working. It's also perfect for post-work relaxation and for those precious and fleeting pre-bed moments when you need something that will gently lull you to sleep when your head is still heavy with reflection.

Her vocals are pretty, clear and powder-soft, almost in the vein of Suzanne Vega. The music is alot folkier and not quite as electric as Rainer, but it's a refreshing welcome change to have those gentle acoustic-y guitar arrangements and sometimes piano really allow her vocals to shine in ways they never have before. Making recording a family affair, she enlisted her former bandmate and guitarist Kyle Fischer (of Rainer Maria) to play and produce this effort. Oh, and for music fun fact lovers: there's guest guitar-work from Dean Wareham from Galaxie 500. Playing with one of her guitar heroes left Caithlin giddy since she's gone on record before saying that G500 is/was one of her favorite earlier indie rock bands she loved growing up.

The best part of My Magic City is the fluidity, as each beautiful track flows nicely into the next. I suggest one proper initial listen from start to finish, but if your impatient ass insists on skipping to the "best," I recommend (in no particular order): "Voicemail," "Outer Space Is Still Sexy," "Sparrow," "Around The Serpentine" and "April You Changed Your Mind." As far as a favorite, mine would probably be "Play Fair." You'll know why after you hear it.