Tristen – C A V E S

TristenChicago born and Nashville based; Tristen is the project of namesake Tristen Gaspadarek, a singer songwriter whose résumé already boasts an impressive collaborative roster and no less than seven studio releases. C A V E S is her eighth foray on record, and the second release through her own label Pupsnake. It follows in a long line of successes for the up-and-coming star, most notably Charlatans at the Garden Gate, which caught DrunkenWerewolf hook, line and sinker in 2011.

C  A V E S’ reputation precedes it. Funded through Kickstarter earlier in the year, the opening message for the campaign proudly boasts a string section recorded in Omaha with Mike Mogis, and a fresh, Lowry organ inspired sound. Pledger exclusive download and opening track “No One’s Gonna Know” confirmed the new direction in April, adding Tristen’s gravely yet lush vocal to a pop sensibility and infectious percussion.

Much of C A V E S follows suit, hanging onto the periphery of electronica and keyboard led pop. Many artists would falter to sound unreservedly corny, but Tristen manages to overcome the limitations of her new genre with luxurious melody.

“Gold Star” flutters closest to the c-word, offering arguably uninspiring lyrics and a fairly standard song structure. Fortunately the remainder of C A V E S closer resembles a heavily funded and soon to be huge pop diva than a bedroom wannabe. “Catalyst” and “House of War” could be demos from the next breakthrough act, beckoning the dance floor while showing off Tristen’s undeniable songwriting talent. C A V E S is lifted above and beyond your standard Epworth produced affair by Gaspadarek’s ability to consistently deliver the goods. For every up-tempo drill, there’s a heart warming ballad like “Forgiveness”, and experimental diverge like “Winter Night”.

On C A V E S Tristen proves she’s the full package; able not just to write, but perform pop classics time and time again. The world can certainly call this the independent pop record of the year.

Release: 15th October 2013, Pupsnake Records

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