Caroline Blind is back with another hauntingly beautiful track. “First” is Blind’s first track in 2020, a follow up to 2019’s “Need To Say” from the soon-to-be-released The Spell Between. The song is co-written with The Wake. Blind casts a wide spell on this enigmatic tune and pushes the listener to a myriad of emotions. Her continued use of feeling cornered and pressures of others is explored in her lyrics and the song’s guitar work is intricate enough to feel intimate.

The idea that this song has a ‘spooky’ tone is accurate. But it’s also positive. I think Blind connects well with her listeners because of her fearless lyrics and wearing her heart on her sleeve. Exploring the idea of a ‘train to nowhere’ could be about a relationship that’s met its expiration date or even feeling completely disillusioned in your job. I like that Blind starts out with the lyrics ‘kiss me first the next time before you break my heart’ and it’s assumed this is a romantic relationship.

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Blind repeatedly sings “the wake / pulling me under/ and I’m on a slow train/ slow train to nowhere / and I’m on a slow train to nowhere” in “First”. The music bed feels morose, eerie. As a listener I felt very confined and centered in on her voice – she’s not screaming or shouting, she’s calming calling out these words. She’s strangely comforting. The guitar works its way around an electronic pulse, swerving back-and-forth like a swinging pendulum. The goth vibe is strong and emotionally I went from feeling sad to extra sad to enlightened. Blind has that effect in her music – this purging of insecurities. She’s simply fearless and she emboldens her listeners to feel her energy and catapult into their own imagination. That in itself is beautiful and I think Blind continues to give her listeners and fans leeway to define what beauty and emotions they want to feel when they hear her music. She doesn’t pigeon hole her listeners just into goth or rock. She’s explorative in her music base and it’s exciting.

I can’t say that I enjoyed “First” more than “Need To Say” but I continue to be in awe of Blind’s wicked talent. “First” is more contemplative and while still edgy, it didn’t give me the same rush as “Need To Say”. Just as The Cure or The Smiths are too much to take in one sitting, some days you just need sadder songs to fill your cup. Today wasn’t that day for me. “First” hit me emotionally in a state-of-mind that I didn’t feel like visiting. Today, that is. Perhaps tomorrow I will feel like the melancholy this song ensues will be a welcomed awash. Just as she sings ‘pulling me under’ tomorrow might be the day I get caught in her wave.

Blind is also known for her tenure in Sunshine Blind. Formed in 1991 in Clifton, N.J., Sunshine Blind released three albums between 1994 and 2003, and toured quite extensively. The gritty rock band boasted a solid fanbase in the Jersey, Philly and New York City scene.

Nicole Killian

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