If you listen to any new music this week let it be the debut EP Watch from Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Caroline Strickland. Originally from Virginia, the 24-year-old artist splits the difference between classic rock troubadours like Bruce Springsteen and the lucidly raucous introspection of PJ Harvey and SASAMI. At its core, she creates clamorous indie-rock that’s powered as much by her lambent vocals as it is by the dueling guitars that yowl in the background.
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Across three emotionally charged songs, Strickland offers up poignant vignettes of her life that crackle with her tenderhearted but melancholic pathos. On the EP’s opening track “Coolest Girl on the Fifth Floor,” she paints an eviscerating self-portrait that highlights the imperative honesty of her songwriting. “Famously I don’t know what to do / About the horrible winter we are walking through,” she coos, entangling the world around her within her quiet poetics. As the song descends into a moody rumbling of guitars she sighs: “Oh the wall between twenty-three and twenty-four / Is pretty thin.”
Then there are the spiraling tones that twang glowingly on “Watchdog,” which mesmerize alongside Strickland’s soaring cries. Folk-flecked as they are her songs at times have the appearance and spirit of rollicking hymns. That’s nowhere more true than on the EP’s final track and also the first single she put out, “Invoice.” Cranking up the dial on her strident use of noisy guitars and the heart-rending bend of her vocals, the song tracks a raging heartache alongside a doleful dismissiveness of payday. “Maybe with the extra cash / I’ll take a trip to Ireland,” she muses against the mourning groan of guitars.
Visit Caroline Strickland on their Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.
Words: Steven Ward
Listen to Watch the new EP from Caroline Strickland below!