Katie Carroll

Paper Girl (Self-released)

This year has seen its fair share of fantastic releases from local female acts. Sarah Jaffe has received national attention (and numerous DOMAs) for her latest record, and Dallas' Ashley Myrick of lalaray and The Beaten Sea has also garnered her fair share of attention locally. So it should be no surprise that yet another female singer from Dallas has released a strong debut album in 2010.

Katie Carroll's Paper Girl puts her haunting, fragile voice front and center. And fragility is a theme that carries throughout the record. Starting with the title track, Carroll tugs at the heartstrings with lines like "Cut me up, tear me apart/ Rip me up, break my heart/ I'm just a paper girl." Carroll, a self-taught singer and musician, seems to be on the wrong side of heartbreak for most of the album, but she goes on the offensive in the song "Relying," warning a would-be lover that she's "been a bad girl before." She still delivers that sentiment in a delicate, sweet tone, though.

And while there isn't much vocal range on display here, there doesn't need to be. For the most part, Carroll sticks with a hushed, sultry delivery that suits the album's subject matter quite well. The lush string arrangements added by producers Josh Goode and Bradley Prakope are a nice touch, too.

There's just a lot to like on this disc, which introduces Dallas to one of its most promising new songwriters.

 
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