Cara Beth Satalino - The Good Ones [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Cara Beth Satalino

The Good Ones [12-inch] (2011)

Salinas Records / Bakery Outlet Records

Sheesh gosh dang, Salinas Records, you sure know how to spoil a person. With the label's recent releases from Swearin' and the State Lottery, Salinas has gone beyond its punk roots and established itself as a premier place for indie tunes. The Good Ones, a solo EP from Cara Beth Satalino of Witches, is yet another strong release from the label.

Recalling Waxahatchee and early Cat Power, Satalino constructs plaintive tunes that are stark but beautiful. Relying on just guitar, drums and her voice, she tells stories about getting a little older and a little more rootless. This is a quarter-life crisis record, as lines like "What happened to the good ones? / They get too bored to do anything fun" ("Good Ones") and "I don't know why it grieves me so / To be without a plan or place to go" ("Turn & Turn") establish.

But for all that lyrical angst, there's a pleasant calm to the musical proceedings. Satalino has a pretty voice to steer the songs. The drums barely register. Guitars alternate fidelity, at times providing a haze, only to come in clear and soft elsewhere. The whole set is pretty dang chill.

At just six songs, The Good Ones never overstays its welcome, which is just as well given that songs do all have pretty much the same vibe/structure. But it hits so many sweet spots. As far as sorta twangy, kind of indie, contemplative folksy singers go, Satalino is tops. Plus, she's giving this stuff away. Score!