Singing in that indie-folk/Passenger-y accent that not very many people talk in, Aberdeen’s Cara Mitchell delivers Afraid of the Dark, which thankfully extends a bit further than the regular affairs of singer-songwriter types.
Though on this EP there are a few hints of things that could have been spiced up a bit, it does have a decent amount of imaginative composition.
This is first showcased on ‘Dust to Dust’, a song which implements interesting, pulsing drums and blends with them tuned percussion and Mitchell’s voice which is double-tracked and touched with reverb and a little delay to give an interesting and delicate effect.
‘Give up the Ghost’ is bluesier and darker sounding, with less effects on the vocals and much more focus on acoustic guitar, without taking away from the fact that Mitchell’s unique voice is clearly the most important component of the EP.
There’s a very nice lyric in this song: “don’t look, at the stars on the horizon, they’re not broken, they’re colliding”, which provides a quick, flowing bridge before the final chorus.
What sounds like keyboard mixed with a return of tuned percussion creates a dreamy, lullaby melody that floats over the guitar and underneath the voice in ‘Suspended Motion’.
At just over two-minutes, this is the shortest track and handclaps help it roll gently through its sections before coming to a really lovely, short and punchy climax.
Penultimate track ‘The Devil, My Friend’, starts with a crescendo fade in and then drops to a fairly typical folky acoustic riff.
This and the last track, ‘This Human’, display the most vocal acrobatics of the release, with Mitchell swooning up and down, holding a few notes and showing an almost raspy quality her voice.
It’s a very pleasant finish to a good EP and is the only track that I can hear any electric guitar on.
It’s difficult to record an acoustic guitar without it sounding a little bit thin and this is the one major flaw in Afraid of the Dark, but Mitchell’s voice and use of other instruments manages to successfully build more textures into the songs.
Words: Greg Murray