Caitlin Park
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Caitlin Park

Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Folk Electronic


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"Caitlin Park - The Sleeper Album Review"

Sydney singer/producer earns her Breakout moment.
The Sleeper * * * *

Caitlin Park’s second album is a major step forward from 2011’s promising Milk Annual, bolstered by confident vocals and thick layers of self-production. Engineered by Sam Brumby (Little Bastard, Achoo! Bless You), indie pop and folk get spiked by hip-hop and world cues, recalling a subtler tUnE-yArDs on “One Another Love” and “Wake Up in a Whirr”. While rich samples tie the songs together, the entrancing refrain of “Hold Your Gaze” makes it one of the year’s best local singles. Other highlights include the snappy soul of “Lemonade”, the smouldering balladry of “Hunt for the Young” and the shadowy blues of “This Hand You Lent Me” and the title track. Park knows how to back up her colourdrenched collages with empowering lyrics, and she convinces as much vocally as she does as an instrument-juggling musician. What she’s best at, though, is pulling together wildly different strands and threading them into her own vast world of sound. - Rolling Stone Australia

"Caitlin Park - The Sleeper Review"

Caitlin Park - The Sleeper
Sydney producer/songwriter Caitlin Park’s second album is full of innovative ideas achieved via unusual methods. Yet they sound natural and effortless, writes EDWARD SHARP-PAUL.

One gets pretty used to the bold-new-chapters, the great-leap-forwards and coming-of-ages that populate the breathless rhetoric of music journalism. Such clichés mean a little less every time they are used, but I mean it when I say that all are apt in the case of
Caitlin Park – at the very least, the coming-of-age bit applies. Her second album, The Sleeper, builds on the promising, introverted Milk Annual, and positively exudes Significant Album qualities from its every metaphorical pore.

The first thing that one notices, from the opening lines of ‘Wake Up in a Whirr’, is the leap in confidence. On Milk Annual, Park created pieces that were halfway between song and sound collage, beguiling but studied. On The Sleeper, that balance skews: the constructions are still wildly imaginative, but the elements of collage are no longer scaffolding – but rather ornamentation. Those elements – Park’s percussive acoustic guitar playing, snatches of dialogue, field recordings, string noise, and, increasingly, synthetic sounds – still pay a heavy debt to The Books, but as the other aspects of Park’s aesthetic receive greater emphasis, the effect becomes less obtrusive. Park’s understated songcraft now rules the roost. It’s probably no coincidence that this shifted emphasis happens as Park’s earthen, doubletracked alto comes to the fore. Where previously Park was an almost apologetic singer, too worried about knocking over some rococo furniture to draw attention in her own
right, The Sleeper is full of quietly commanding performances.

On ‘Hold Your Gaze’ she is disarming, offering safe harbour to a prospective lover. ‘Lemonade’, on the other hand, is uncharacteristically suave, with Park playing up to the almost doo-wop feel of the accompaniment that she has painstakingly constructed. She is completely exposed on ‘Where I Slept’, with only a subterranean synth drone and some looped vocals for company. In short, she covers a lot of ground, drawing out latent aspects of the songs without ever sounding like anyone but herself.

Of course, none of this would count for all that much if The Sleeper didn’t carry such a strong thematic focus. The sleeper of the album’s title is a figure of intrigue, a perfect, unknowable savant, effortlessly
intimate, freed from the burdens of yearning, loss and things-going-wrong-ness, the burdens that consume us in our conscious hours. Park uses the sleeper as a perfect Other, an embodiment of our
desire for even a temporary escape from our tangled selves.

This Other hovers over the album, as Park contemplates the burdens of wakefulness. Even with the conceptual frame, Park’s musings might grow tired (sorry) if she didn’t possess such a knack for exposing the accidental truths contained in tiny gestures and stray thoughts. Better yet, she matches these emotional fragments with similarly fragmented sounds, heightening the sense of these songs not as dioramas, but as peepholes into private worlds. She sings of children that are yet to be born, from a relationship that is yet to be consummated (‘Hunt for the Young’), and of kites, graves, peacocks, and possibly even Icarus (‘Not the Light’). As one might imagine, the title track is the centrepiece, in which Park lists the many qualities of her Other, painting a less than generous self-portrait via this negative exposure.

As with everything Park does, The Sleeper is full of innovative ideas achieved via unusual methods – methods that nonetheless sound natural and effortless in her gifted hands. She has found the framework and the performances to do justice to her wildly inventive constructions. - Mess and Noise

"Caitlin Park - The Sleeper"

It’s unclear whether the naked bodies huddled together on the front of Caitlin Park’s The Sleeper make for an erotic or rather sexless image: it could be a post orgy come-­down or a mass cuddle between a family of naturists. Whatever these folk are up to, Park isn’t interested in resolving the ambiguity.

Her second album flits between the grown-­up and the child-­like with ease. She’s all sparkles and hand claps on ‘Lemonade’ then skulks through the bottom ranges of ‘Not The Light’ with a voice that’s almost indecently seductive. Although Park’s own PR spiel describes her as proponent of folktronica, it’s better to think of her
as someone who makes excellent pop music with a sense of adventure.

The Sleeper is constantly on the move, propelled by a wide-­eyed energy and hunger for the new. Park slips quickly from folk ballad to African gospel to dark electronica and R&B, handling every switch with a joyful confidence. Tacking the various textures together are snippets of spoken word and peculiar samples. In that sense The Sleeper has the same cut n’ paste feel of its predecessor, 2011’s Milk Annual. It’s a delightful treasure hunt where half the fun is finding secrets stashed away in the album’s nooks and crannies. Despite the junk shop aesthetic, Park and producer Lee Groves make sure the album remains easy to digest. Rhythm and space give the songs discipline. They’re the scaffolding that turns Park’s brightly coloured
scribbles into something with a clearly defined purpose. The Sleeper is certainly an accomplished recording with avant-­garde leanings, but its melodic heart means it’s built for love not admiration. - FasterLouder


Still working on that hot first release.