Caitlyn Smith is a talented singer-songwriter who started her career in 2010 writing songs for industry stars. Now? She’s risen to be a star in her own right. With her third studio album, “High”, a short and sweet indie/folk album featuring an intro and seven full length songs, Caitlyn Smith has proved once again that she can do much more than writing in the background.
This album starts with an ambient intro, with Smith’s voice humming in the background and leading us into the title track, “High.” We’re greeted immediately with Smith’s powerful vocals, saying, “Sometimes, I get a little too high…” Smith’s vocals lead the way on this album, with her soulful alto voice singing catchy melodies the whole way through. Smith slows it down afterwards, with “Dreamin’s Free.” We can clearly hear the country and folk influences in the acoustic guitar melody that starts the song off strong, and the slight country twang to Smith’s voice in this song. The sweet lyrics detail how Smith and a lover “ain’t rich, but the dreaming’s free”.
Next off, we have a pop-influenced song titled “Good As Us.” Smith’s voice stays in the lower registers for the verses, with a quiet breathy tone, and belts out the catchy line, “Good As Us” in the chorus. The plucked guitar melody plays with Smith’s voice beautifully, and we enjoy the backing track leaning more into the background on this one so Smith’s voice can really shine.
The next track is the most streamed on the album, with over five million plays on Spotify. “Downtown Baby” is a fast moving, swinging song with a rousing beat and, if you listen closely, a piano track as the backbone for the whole thing. “Downtown Baby” was released as a single before the full album was dropped, to great success– featured on multiple “Country” themed playlists on Apple Music and Spotify, as well as played on 60+ radio stations in the US. The song finishes up with an upbeat, nearly a-capella section in the last fifteen seconds, with some higher vocal sweeps from Smith.
Next, Smith brings us a slow, very dance-able song called “Nothing Against You.” We can see this one playing as a slow dance in a country bar on a summer night. Afterwards, we’re treated to another slower track: “Maybe in Another Life.” The lyrics of this one are sure to tug at the heartstrings, detailing one of Smith’s lost loves. With how soulfully Smith sings melancholy lines like “I’ll love you forever with the fire in my soul,” and “We don’t ever say goodbye, maybe in another life,” this song should immediately take its rightful place on all your breakup playlists. As much as we love the upbeat vibes on tracks like “Downtown Baby,” this song will have to take our number one spot for the favorite song on the album. The emotion in the strings in the backing track, Smith’s voice which seems like it could crack with emotion at any moment, and the rousing drum track building up to dramatic drops– we love it all.
Smith closes us out with another sadder track, called “I Don’t Like The World Without You.” We end feeling melancholy, but the whole journey Smith took us on was so worth it. If you can, catch one of Smith’s shows in Nashville later this month, and we’re crossing our fingers she’ll announce another full-length tour soon, so more people can experience the beautiful journey of “High” in person.
Reviewed by Zoe Wynns