Caroline Ferrante - Sky

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Submitted by Pamela Bellmore

The four song EP Sky, Caroline Ferrante’s second studio release and third overall, solidifies her growing stature as one of the indie folk scene’s brightest songwriting talents. The first single from the release “ Feel Like a Holiday” has already enjoyed considerable success, including garnering a coveted award for one of 2017’s best singles from Ark of Music, and Ferrante continues to push this richly rewarding release. It deserves a wide hearing. Ferrante’s songs are uniformly exceptional and further enhanced by her forceful singing that explores a wide range of emotions with a clear ear turned towards balanced interpretation. Unlike many purveyors of this style who merely look to hit specific marks, Ferrante is a writer and performer who imbue her vision of traditional music with clear charisma and individuality that makes these recordings her own, beholden to no obvious influences. Sky will generate a lot of momentum for this artist and we can only wonder what direction she’ll turn next.

Co-written with Austin Bello, “Feels Like a Holiday” sells hopefulness in such a compelling way it gives lie to anyone who’s ever said happy emotions don’t make for good art. The line by line writing for this song is much more than your customary grab-bag of clichés and there’s some powerful imagery laced into these verses paying off quite nicely with the chorus. The lyrical mood is well matched by jaunty instrumentation that never grates on listener’s nerves. The second cut “Better Angels” is a deeply felt, immensely soulful number with an especially nuanced vocal from Ferrante and biting lyrics orchestrating its emotional tenor into a lean, pointed response to a tortured relationship. The bluesy flourishes are strewn throughout this tune mark it as distinctly different from the opener and, clearly for novices to Ferrante, she is far from content working out her songs in a purist folk/roots style. Thankfully.

Ferrante and Bello scores as songwriters once again with a song that, based on the title alone, has a lot to live up to. The redemptive spirit driving the airy bounce of “Great Big Beautiful World” never feels phony, however, and the music has an engaging snap from the first. Songs like this and the opener are crafted, as all Ferrante/Bello songs are, with the economy in mind and it’s an attribute that serves a song like this particularly well. The closer “Symphony” is a cinematic finale that, perhaps, you might not expect from Ferrante, but it’s well worth the surprise. She dispenses with the usual suspects instrumentally in favor of a song dominated by piano and the balladic aspects of the tune obviously play into her strengths. Her songwriting collaboration with Austin Bello never means that there isn’t a personal stamp on each of these four songs – Caroline Ferrante comes across as a fully realized songwriter and recording artist with a long and promising future ahead of her. Sky is well worth the time of both devoted and casual music fans.