Kelly Caldwell

Septembre Girl

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As one of the featured singers in the live version of Saturday Looks Good to Me, Michigan's Kelly Caldwell made a name for herself as a sincere and whimsical vocalist. On Septembre Girl, Caldwell slows down the tempo in favor of a relaxed, autumnal sound. "Could You Really Love a Girl" starts things off with an echoing acoustic guitar matching with Caldwell's passionate vocals on the all-too-brief song. Having cut her teeth as the vocalist for the bands And Spiders, Showdown at the Equator, and the Black Forrest Girls, Caldwell's vocal cadence mixes perfectly with the restrained instrumentation on Septembre Girl, her first solo effort. Recorded with Fred Thomas of Saturday Looks Good to Me and Flashpapr, the songs' lo-fi/cut-and-paste aesthetic includes a rich and full sound characteristic of many of Thomas' own recordings. The personal narrative of "Black & Blue Eyed Boys," along with the clamoring instrumentation, perfectly frames Caldwell's charming vocal presence. "Panic Attack" eloquently follows with a slower, more eloquent pace. Her stream-of-consciousness lyrics are rich with poetic overtones, wonderfully showcasing the twenty-something songstress and, at the same time, giving much-deserved attention to the Ann Arbor, MI, scene she has blossomed in. Despite the inclusion of interesting mid-tempo songs like "Number 9 Blonde" and "Woodcrest," it's the stripped-down ballads like "July," "Who's Watching Over Us Tonight?," and "Baby" that make the album such a keeper. The awkward sincerity shines through to make these songs sound like wonderful first steps of an artist with many years of songwriting and recording ahead of her. The layered grace of "My Beat Heart" closes out the disc with flare. Michigan's Ypsilanti Records released the disc in 2002.

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