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(PUPsnake; US: 15 Oct 2013; UK: Import)

Tristen is a fighter. Her twitter account attests to that much, and like other determined independent artists, she’s taken her music into her own hands and created her own label, PUPsnake Records. C A V E S is her second LP released on her own label, and it’s full of bright pop melodies, strong vocals and big instrumentation. Tristen’s voice and her songwriting are the anchors that keep C A V E S afloat. Opener “No One’s Gonna Know” is nearly irresistible; a hearty mash-up of Fleetwood Mac channeled through The Pretenders. Big synths show up on “Dark Matter” and “House of War”, and strings and piano are littered through the LP, used to great effect on downtempo tracks like “Monster” and “Winter Night”. Tristen’s tastes might not fit every palette (the ‘80s influence is heavy-handed), but there’s nothing wrong with letting her voice and some big synths wash over you in pure enjoyment.


Scott D. Elingburg is software analyst and freelance writer. His work has appeared in the South Carolina Review, the Southeast Review, Wide Awake Press Anthologies, MetroBeat (formerly Creative Loafing), Charleston Style and Design, and several other publications. Currently he is the reviews editor and regular contributor at the pop culture website, Stereo Subversion. He's not much of a fisherman, but he does live in Charleston, SC with his wife, daughter, and three cats. Follow him on twitter @staticonthehifi.

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