Influenced by artists like Weezer, Bob Dylan, Radiohead and Billie Holiday, singer-songwriter Syd Caldera has several genres in that melting pot sound of hers. With a love for an acoustic guitar, the USA-based artist needs no more than a simplistic “ping pong” to make beautiful music. Having released her first single of Spotify in 2013, Syd has several years of songwriting experience. Moreover, she was a finalist at the LEAF Songwriting Competition in Asheville, North Carolina – that has to say something. This is the first time I have come across the multi-instrumentalist and I want to introduce you to her with the EP What Feels Good.
Describing What Feels Good as an album “opening up to life”, Syd presents a plethora of life situations in a pretty four-track package. From the opening country-rock single ‘What Feels Good’ to the grunge-influenced ‘What About Me’, Syd showcases her innovativeness as an artist. Each song has a specific identity which is apt considering each has its individual theme, but altogether uniting in the “two steps forward, one step back progress” of life.
One element that is constant in What Feels Good is the sultry, rich and bold vocals of Syd Caldera. The melding of acoustic guitars, bass and a steady drumbeat enhance the emotion behind the melody, but it is Syd’s dulcet tones that emphasise its intimacy. With the help of Aidan Boardman on bass and Dylan Conley on drums, the EP is a sonic representation of existentialism and its associated emotions.
Alright, that seems a bit “airy-fairy” in wording, but it is my opinion. What it all comes down to, really, is that What Feels Good has raw honesty and sophisticated sentimentality. Beginning with a consumerism-focussed ‘What Feels Good’ to “seeing the traits you admire in another person” in ‘Soft and Strong’, there is a deeper context to Syd Caldera’s work. Of course, there are the break-up and make-up songs, but what is life without some relationships in the mix? Personally, I love all the themes, melodies and harmonies of What Feels Good. What Feels Good definitely feels good for me – I know, horrible pun but I had to get it in there.