Caitlin Park live in Sydney
Sydney-based singer/songwriter Caitlin Park played at Newtown’s Vanguard last week. We sent Damon Collum along:
I first caught Caitlin Park playing at Jurassic Lounge in Sydney last year as a happy accident. I found myself entranced by her vocals and clever use of soundscapes. I loved every minute and, like a lot of events I shoot where I lose myself, my camera landed comfortably in my lap, as I was more interested in being a part of the audience than an observer. I never forgot that first glimpse.
Her show at the Vanguard last Friday – where she performed songs from her latest album The Sleeper and her new EP, To Breathe You Out – was every part of that earlier experience but with a greater sound and accompanied by a perfect selection of back-up musicians and vocals. What really works is Caitlin’s grounded personality and, as she snuck in a shot and stood barefoot on stage, it felt like this was a performance by a friend. Throughout, she was as endearing and personable as any performer I’ve come to see. A true local, with a bar job not 100m away from this venue and having a familiarity about her that makes her music so much more approachable, it was clear the crowd was as at home with her as she was with us.
The Sleeper is a well crafted album and her songs aptly blend folk and electronica in what is described as ‘folktronica’ – a genre I was unaware of and yet can easily relate to her work. As unique as Caitlin herself, her songs encompass a diverse range of accompaniments and beautiful vocals. Playing with back-up musicians gave a rich embellishment to her work and provided a compliment rather than stealing from her perfectly delivered vocals and own acoustic talents. Her duets were a pleasure, like when Joyride (who had previously rocked the crowd as the night’s support act) joined her on stage for a funky remix. Elsewhere in her set, the more subdued works without the backing musicians saw her vocals create a lullaby world that sent you to a place of dreams. “Now I see, that I’ll have to sleep for a century to breathe you out of me.”
Caitlin Park is a joy to observe and it was a pleasure to share the experience and take the journey of her new work. So much so that the friend I attended the gig with – who did not know of Caitlin’s work previously – had already downloaded her album before the show had finished. Get yourself along to one of her gigs, grab a copy of the album, share with a friend.
If you are in Sydney then you can catch Caitlin‘s all-ages show at Pigeon Ground on Salisbury Rd, Camperdown on Friday 25th July from 6pm.
Caitlin Park live review and pictures by Damon Collum