For years, Caitlyn Smith has been known for her songwriting skills (she’s responsible for Meghan Trainor and John Legend‘s “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” Garth Brooks’ “Tacoma” and many more) but it’s the long-anticipated collection of her own vocals that really shines.
Following the release, Smith celebrated her debut album, Starfire, Friday night at a closed album release party in Nashville’s Hutton Hotel. There, she effortlessly belted soft lyrics from the 12-track project.
Clothed in a low-cut silver dress that shimmered with her every stroke of the guitar, Smith kickstarted the night with “Starfire.” She says the song “is an anthem to myself to never give up.” Immediately following was “This Town Is Killing Me,” a gut-punching track that describes Smith’s love affair with the city that’s shaped her musically.
Starfire producer Paul Moak performed alongside Smith track-by-track, but it wasn’t until “East Side Restaurant” that he served as the lone instrumentalist. No guitar in-hand, Smith became one with the song, clenching her fists as lyrics floated from her lips. The roar of the applause only died quick enough for Smith to delve into “Contact High” before it refueled.
Earlier that week, Smith had made her television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with an all-in performance of “Contact High.” It took a lot to get her there, though.
“As I’ve been promoting this record, I keep coming back to the phrase, ‘long and winding road,’” Smith said as she read from a journal she wrote in while on her flight back to Nashville. “It took this road for me to finally feel comfortable with tuning out what I thought people wanted to hear from me and simply just create music that I love.”
Smith ended the night with a powerhouse performance of “Tacoma” before meeting with guests and signing copies of CDs.