Every so often, an angelic voice rises above the din of the modern music.

Kal Cahoone
Saints and Stars
(c)2011 Helmet Recordings

Every so often, an angelic voice rises above the din of the modern music landscape. Kal Cahoone, background vocalist for Lilium and a friend of number of 16 Horsepower, Woven Hand, and the Denver Gentlemen alum, has released an intoxicating Americana album with an undercurrent of shoegaze and melancholy that lingers after finished. Hauntingly beautiful, she reminds me of a cross between Maria McKee (Lone Justice), Karin Bergquist (Over The Rhine), and Karen Peris (the Innocence Mission), but with more of a lilting quality. There's a sense of playfulness, but done in mostly a minor key. The music is used to plug into the weaving tapestry that trails behind her voice, sparse and inviting.

The deeply felt "Evita" and the first half of "Beside The Shalimar" resonate with an acoustic envelope of piano, guitar, and a wispy percussion starting the disc as to invite the listener into their living room. Then, the second half of the song, you're whisked out into a street concert of traveling gypsies. Dimly lit, smoke filled clubs, and late night ambience are what Kal Cahoone and her current band, The Dirty Pretty, are made for. The further into the disc, the melancholy spirit goes down like a perfect bottle of wine. "Sebastian" is of the playful quality, but more dance-like this time out. "Travel Song" is a classic light smoky blues club swagger tune. Not one weak number in the lot, she effortlessly wraps each song in a melancholy dance that has a lazy, timeless element as its partner.

Favorite cuts are "Have You Seen Your Star Tonight" and the hauntingly beautiful "Build The Fire". Fans of Over The Rhine, Innocence Mission, and Lilium will embrace this hidden Colorado talent.

July 2011