Caleb Caudle‘s “Paint Another Layer On My Heart” does what I believe to be Caleb‘s best quality as a songwriter; tells a story. Each track on this album vividly “paints” a picture of the meaning behind the songs and the lyrics leave little room for questions or second-guessing. The only thing this album really leaves room for is a place to insert your own life experiences and emotions and watch how every song can relate to each one of us; it’s amazing, sad, beautiful, and heart-breaking.
The 10-track, sophomore album from Caudle, has a glaring underlying theme that rattles true within the state of touring musicians today: The hardships of life on the road. Caudle doesn’t leave room for guessing. These songs are full of lyrics about missing your loved ones, not being home for the holidays and frankly, having to face your own demons and misery on your own, without anyone else to blame or make excuses. It’s not all puppies and rainbows, it’s real life music but somehow Caudle has figured out how to make it sound beautiful.
Caudle was able to corral some other great musicians within the “alt country family” to assist in the instrumentation and backing vocals on “Paint Another Layer on Heart”; Whit Wright of American Aquarium (pedal steel) and Lydia Loveless (vocals). Loveless wastes no time in making her presence known and solidifies her spot on the album with her harmonies on the very first track “How’d You Learn”. On the track “Another Night”, which is a personal favorite of mine, Wright’s pedal steel screams through the shadows while Caudle‘s bellows lines such as “I make up excuses, and I feel less useless, try not to scratch on the 8.” Woah. I’ll give you a second to let the goose bumps subside and your eyes to dry up… Although I had a really tough time choosing my favorite track on the album, it was between “Come on October” and “Trade All The Lights”, I had to go with the latter; it’s full of emotion, desire, want, despair and it also perfectly blends the backing vocals of Loveless and the sweet, soft riffs of Wright’s pedal steel with Caudle‘s descriptive lyrics to create a beautiful song that will remain one of my favorites of 2014.
Paint Another Layer on My Heart, which was released by This is American Music (T.I.A.M), is a great nod to the more classic country/singer-songwriters of our times. Caleb‘s Caudle approach of painting glowing pictures through each song, writing honest, real, relatable lyrics is refreshing and inspiring; I can’t recommend this album enough. Do yourself a favor; get the album, catch a live show (he tours like a man running from the law), and see why “Paint Another Layer On My Heart” has received a spot on my “best of 2014” list.