Entirely endearing, Carve Every Word is the debut album from the talented Katie Buchan, under the moniker of Best Girl Athlete. The daughter of the talented CS Buchan, the younger Buchan has clearly acquired notable musical prowess through some combination of nature and nurture. Composed at only 15 years of age, we’ll get the “talent beyond her years” cliché out now and proceed with a look at the record in all its nuanced beauty.
At 13 tracks and 48 minutes in length there is much to peruse, but the sweet overtones make the music not only easy to digest to decidedly moreish. Opener ‘Winter Sun’ is a measured number, and with minimal effort sets proceedings into a mellowed motion with the assistance of some repetitive guitar melodies and a slow pace. This leisurely attitude is continued in the equally charming ‘Turn On The Radio’ which strolls along a country path as Buchan regales her story.
The bulk of Carve Every Word dabbles with various aspects of the singer-songwriter base model, with the electric guitar in ‘Hills’ adding more of a rock swagger, and the strings in ‘He’s Calling Me Over’ adding majesty to the innocence of the lyrics they accompany. The time-themed duo of ‘Seven Seconds’ and ‘Several Lonely Minutes’ is a record highlight, with the pop groove of the latter half of the former drawing out parallels with the entirely comparable Nina Nesbitt, whilst its counterpart is an endearing acoustic ballad strengthened by beautiful male-female vocal harmonies.
Penultimate track ‘Poppy, What Have You Gone And Done?’ and successor ‘This Time’ exhibit further lyrics powerful through their elegant simplicity. The charming trio of vocals, acoustic guitar and strings is yet again exploited to whip the listener into a state of whimsical bliss, a theme employed effectively time and again throughout the album.
Having drawn comparison to Ellie Goulding, Buchan’s vocal has a sickly sweet range, grounded in organic soundscapes which seem to harness the virtue of the whole affair. Whilst this record is unlikely to garner the euphoria of a stripped back Taylor Swift single, Best Girl Athlete as an entity is a considerable talent to be lauded and appreciated. Having graduated from performances on her father’s material, Ms Katie Buchan is a fully fledged recording artist with a penchant for the beautiful. With that in mind, carve that name and these songs into your memory ahead of a promising future.