Album: Caitlin Pasko – Greenhouse review

by Philip Moss

They say you have to watch the quiet, unassuming ones. And this second release from Brooklyn based, Caitlin Pasko, absolutely proves that saying to be true.

From the inhale of breath after Pasko counts in the album opener, I Know I, the mood is set. This is a songwriter with a lot to say, and Greenhouse will be her outpouring. Scribed during and in the wake of an emotional abusive relationship, for this reason, Greenhouse is the perfect headphones album. A record that in someways feels like it should be kept secret – channelled directly into the ears. But like the emotions that Pasko had kept bottled up, it also needs to be let out into the open air.

On Unwell, the emotional body blows are felt physically – Pasko wanders a neighbourhood that isn’t hers; her legs aching, as she second guesses what everyone thinks of her, such is the PTSD she has suffered. Even God finds Pasko ‘stuck in death’, and religion offering no answers to her cries.

Horrible Person, however, moves the metaphor into the literal. Vocally bringing to mind Julee Cruise, or Bjork’s more understated, considered moments, the delicate tone works in irony to the song’s catalyst, as she calls out its inspiration: ‘You are a horrible person, I shouldn’t have to explain to you, or tell you why you should know it already.’ Musically, it sits next to Gia Margaret’s There’s Always Glimmer. Soft synths shine, and despite the raging passion that burns through Pasko’s fingertips as she presses the piano keys, at no point does it ever get loud. No matter how close to breaking point she comes.

The purpose of a greenhouse is to protect plants and allow them bloom – away from the world’s nasties. No one should have to suffer what she has been through. But Pasko’s experiences have made her into a hardened soul, and what’s documented on this LP proves she will not shatter. The cathartic experience of writing this wonderful record means her blossoming heart can now reap the rewards.

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