press clips

2017

  • Salon -- "...'70s rock is back in fashion," writes Annie Zaleski in her list of the 12 best albums of 2017 you may have missed.  "Third, the latest record from Memphis-based pop-rock aficionado Cait Brennan, is further proof of that. Recorded at Ardent Studios, the LP is a well-wrought, diverse collection that feels like an episode of "Casey Kasem's American Top 40" from the '70s...on a more modern tip, "At the End of the World" conjures the meticulous pop shapeshifting of Neil Finn and Crowded House."  (link)
  • No Depression -- "Brennan’s full-length 2016 debut, Debutante, set a high bar for this follow-up...since this is technically her third album, it’s ineligible for a sophomore slump. And slump this is not. ‘Ascent’ is more apt. Those new to Brennan should prepare to be dazzled; fans should prepare to be dazzled anew.    (link)
  • LA Weekly -- Jackson Truax declares "Cait Brennan's Third is a subversive glam-rock masterpiece".    (link)
  • The Advocate -- Interview: "From actress to filmmaker to critically acclaimed rock goddess," says The Advocate's Jacob Anderson-Minshall, cheering the pop culture references in "nerdy trans girl" Cait Brennan's latest and declaring her "Rock’s Next Big Thing".     (link
  • Focus Mid-South --  Interview: "Cait Brennan is Ardent about her Memphis 'family' by John Paul Keith.     (link)
  • The Guardian -- Cait discusses Glen Campbell's legacy  in Mark Guarino's remembrance of the late music legend's life.    (link)
  • Popshifter -- "one of the most exciting albums of the year...wholly familiar but wholly alien. Third is brilliant. You won’t hear anything else like it," says Popshifter's Melissa Bratcher.    (link)
  • Java Magazine -- "Last year she released her cleverly titled first album, Debutante, and it blew the collective minds of not only the local music community but power pop and classic rock geeks from coast to coast. The album appeared on year-end lists everywhere...It was a glorious revitalization of the sounds from Brennan’s youth, mixed with the likes of Harry Nilsson, Big Star and Elton John. Yet for all the influences, it was uniquely Cait Brennan at her best. Or so I thought at the time. It turns out that I had no idea what her best could be," writes Java's Mitchell Hillman in his beautiful track-by-track review of Third. "The parallel universe that delivers the muse to Brennan must be a fascinating place."       (link)
  • Memphis Flyer -- "When someone has suffered violence simply for being who they are, there's an urgency to the lyrics 'Kinda tried to hide it, but I never denied it.' Cait Brennan sings these words, and everything else on her new album, Third, as if her life depended on it. Not that she can't reveal a light touch, as when she sings, “he knows too much, I think we'll have to kill him.” If the latter is built on a bedrock of T. Rex hand claps and chugging electric guitars, mixing the lighthearted with the murderous, that just comes with the territory in Trans Glam Soul," the Flyer's Alex Greene writes. "Forget the “trans” for a minute, though, unless you mean that her music transcends such labels..."   (link)
  • Blurt -- four stars and high praise from Blurt's John B. Moore, who says "you can’t help but get a sense that this is the type of album that could have the staying power of those Alex Chilton-led recordings. There is a timelessness here that is just not found in most records coming out today."    (link)
  • Sounds Around Town -- "Can we just talk about Cait Brennan for a moment? I mean her debut album had me reeling last year, it felt like 1970′s AM Rock comfort food for my soul through every track. Debutante was a showcase for her as an artist, but especially as a songwriter. Flash forward through a decade of anyone else’s life experience, compressed into a rollicking year in her life and she presents her audience with Third....a landmark achievement, a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned and I’ll be playing an eight month game of “Can anyone actually top this album?” with it."         (link)
  • Popdose -- Keith Creighton interviews Cait Brennan on Third, ill-fated romance and why Memphis matters, and gets a tantalizing glimpse of what's next.    (link)
  • The Big Takeover -- TBT premieres Cait's new ode to "Benedict Cumberbatch", saying her "raucous and joyful second album Third, a glam and soul-infused power-pop breakthrough, makes good on all the promise of the debut, and then some..."     (link)
  • Power Of Pop -- Kevin Mathews says Third is "a thing of brutal wonder...Big Star meets Jellyfish – if one ever needed a soundbite for this loving paean to the best of what pop-rock music can aspire to, that’s the one. Take a bow, Cait Brennan."     (link)
  • Coachella Valley Weekly -- Eleni P. Austin raves about Third, calling it "an album stuffed to the gills with wily songcraft, inventive arrangements and crisp instrumentation..." "In a better world, Cait Brennan would be perched at the top of the charts," she writes, looking forward to Brennan's long awaited next album due in the new year. "Luckily, she has another album in the can. 2018 can’t get here quick enough."     (link)
  • The Observer -- Cait speaks at length on her love of Prince and his influence on her life and music in this piece celebrating the 30th anniversary of Prince's "Sign 'O' The Times".     (link)
  • I Don't Hear A Single blog -- "probably the best album that you'll hear all year... the creativity and quality of this volume is amazing. Third is an amazing album, not only showing the depth of her talent, but also revealing the lyrical brilliance in her songwriting. In these days of manufactured one song mediocrity, albums like this should be cherished."     (link)
  • AZCentral -- music critic Ed Masley lists Cait's "Bad At Apologies" as one of ten songs you need to hear right now, praising the song's "blues as the Beatles would play it" and the album's Memphis roots.    (link)
  • Steve Simels' Power Pop -- legendary Stereo Review music scribe Steve Simels raves about Cait and Third. ""Bad at Apologies" -- the lead off track from Third -- has one of the greatest opening lines in rock history," Simels says, adding  "It may not be an exaggeration to say that Cait and co-producer/multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo could be the most synergistically-matched team of artistic collaborators since those four kids from Liverpool hooked up with that older guy at EMI who had recorded The Goons....there's not a song on the record that doesn't repay the time spent in listening. And hardly one that doesn't make you want to get up and dance around your house -- as John Lennon put it -- in wild abdomen."     (link)
  • The Morton Report -- "You don’t have to get far into this CD to conclude that Brennan is a wholly original voice, musically, vocally, and lyrically...In fact, she’s as unclassifiable as she is terrific. Her five-octave vocals, which sometimes remind me of Alison Moyet, are head-turning, and her songs are complex, passionate, and memorable."   (link)
  • BabySue -- "Timeless pop music with a conscience....Brennan and Perdomo seem to be a perfect match for one another. Hearing these tracks, you can almost feel the connection of their minds through the music. Hard to place where these tracks fit into the musical landscape of 2017, because there aren't any obvious comparisons that come to mind. If you like classic music that won't sound dated years from now, this release ought to be right up your alley. The songs are super strong and the vocals truly absorbing...This album will stand up to many repeated spins."   (link)
  • Musoscribe -- "A fine album....pleasingly varied...Third all but screams 1970s, but that won’t take away from deep enjoyment of the album, not one bit."     (link)
  • Spectrum Culture -- Grant Rindner reviews Third, praising her restless creativity and war on lyrical and sonic cliches. (link)
  • Washington Blade -- "If you’re gonna record at the legendary Argent Studios in Memphis and call the resulting album “Third” (an homage to the 1978 classic of the same name by power-pop heroes Big Star), you better have the goods to back it up," Chris Gerard writes. "Fortunately, up-and-coming singer/songwriter/musician Cait Brennan has delivered an album worthy of its historic birthplace....Just about any track on the album, apart from a few of the more intense ballads, are catchy enough to be potential singles. Cait Brennan is a rising talent. “Debutante” showed a great deal of promise and “Third” delivers on that potential."   (link)
  • Poprock Record -- "the hype is dead on – Brennan is a major talent in both the singing and songwriting department," reviewer Dennis Pilon writes. "Brennan’s vocals – both the lead and backing – nail all the hooks, while being just faintly reminiscent of Neil Finn’s vocal timbre and phrasing. Another highlight is the sardonic “Benedict Cumberbach” with its Beatlesque roll out and Split Enz-like manic chorus. But this is just scratching the surface of what is here. This record is sure to be on a lot of ‘Best of 2017’ lists come year’s end."    (link)
  • The Second Disc -- "Bold, fresh and fun...Third has power-pop, of course, but also rock, glam, and a little bit of (O My) soul, for good measure.."     (link)
  •  

 

2016

  • LA Weekly -- the Weekly declares Cait "could be pop-rock's next big thing" and says "Earlier this year, the 47-year-old singer-songwriter released Debutante, which is as powerful a debut as any in recent memory. If you combined Harry Nilsson, Paul McCartney, Rhodes and a touch of Jane Wiedlin into one person, you’d have Brennan, whose sound identifies clearly with the most timeless and idiosyncratic songwriters in rock & roll." (link)
  • American Songwriter -- Peter Gerstenzang praises Debutante and Cait's glam spirit, saying the album "feels like a bit of solace for those of us who felt Bowie’s loss so keenly. In other words, it’s nice to have a new songwriter out there, who is so … out there!"        (link)
  • Goldmine -- Dave Thompson says Debutante is "thrillingly original, astonishingly delivered, and pot-holed with more magical moments than a lot of people fit into an entire career."  (link)
  • SiriusXM -- Cait sits down with Larry Flick to talk about Debutante and the plotted lines and faulty map that brought Cait Brennan to New York, playing songs and sharing stories from the album.    (link)
  • Steve Simels' Power Pop -- "(Debutante) is my candidate for Album of the Year...a haunting voice...beautifully produced, with plenty of sonic sheen but with a charming rough-hewn quality as well."     (link)
  • Popdose -- Keith Creighton's "What The World Needs Now: The Incredible Music and Story of Cait Brennan" says "Debutante, a sparkling album produced by Brennan and Fernando Perdomo, is right up there with the great “drenched in blood, sweat & tears, leave everything on the table, conquer the world” albums like Against Me’s New Wave, Guns & Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, Green Day’s American Idiot and Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish." Keith talks with Cait about her life growing up, the creation of Debutante and the already-in-progress followup albums.    (link)
  • Popshifter -- "Debutante is one hell of a debut album. From the high fructose, upbeat balladry of “Once Upon A Nevermind” to the rich and soulful “Showman”, Cait Brennan has made a glimmering record full of heart and hope and harmony. It’s a timeless album; joyful, clever, and wonderful. You owe it to yourself to hear her."      (link)
  • AZCentral/The Arizona Republic -- "This pop classicist has packed her first album with songs that marry timeless hooks to introspective lyrics," writes critic Ed Masley. "Setting the tone with the wistful, McCartney-esque intro of "Good Morning and Goodnight," the singer delivers an album that should speak to several generations of power-pop enthusiasts, whether they cut their teeth on Big Star and the Raspberries or Teenage Fanclub in the '90s."      (link)
  • The Rogers Revue -- "...a creative and moving album. Brennan’s vocals are strong and clear and the fans will hang on to every word. Every song is a great one to listen to and I have to admit that I’m hooked. Cait Brennan has a hit album on her hands."  (link)
  • Powerpopaholic -- "Cait Brennan spent the better part of 20 years writing power-pop and glam-rock symphonies in secret...These are great songs about love, loss, hope, identity, struggle, and ultimately survival. No filler here either, a very highly recommended debut."     (link)
  • Echo Magazine -- "She’s a great singer. A great musician. I consider her an ace. She’s a wonderful lab partner,” Fernando Perdomo tells Echo Magazine about making Debutante with Cait Brennan. “When we were creating, there was the right amount of seriousness and humor. We’re both very similar people. We have a similar sense of humor. Working with her was a complete joy."    (link
  • Indie Rock Cafe -- "In the sultry heat of July, Brennan and Perdomo ripped out twelve songs from her extensive songbook, recording them all in five manic days and nights. The duo split production and instrumental duties, with Perdomo taking the lead and playing what Brennan calls “the badass virtuoso stuff”, like the Brian May-tribute guitar solo on “Harmony Lies” and the titanic four-horseman drumming of “Black Diamond,” both of which, like the album itself, demonstrate the duo’s incredible talents..."   (link)
  • I Hate The Sound Of Guitars -- "Debutante’s opening salvo “Good Morning and Goodnight” manages to evoke Mott the Hoople, Queen, and Bowie in roughly equal measure (with a dash of “Walk Under Ladders”-era Armatrading). Second track “Underworld” is a Big Star homage as good as anything from Teenage Fanclub. These are pretty good signposts for the whole endeavor – lovingly crafted in the styles of classic glam and powerpop. There’s something defiantly uncool about this that really appeals to me."     (link)
  • Phoenix New Times -- "...an impressive ode to a time when music was filled with grandeur, theatrics, and eternal hooks...Of all the tracks, “Madame Pompadour” is the one that just stays in my head. Every song on the album has something to it that will stick with you, but this one shines a little brighter. First of all, there is a feeling of joy and all-out celebration, and the chorus is just catchy as hell. There are a lot of pop hits in waiting from Debutante, but this one is over the top in that regard. It’s a fascinating album, and this song is the jewel in the crown. Plus, with a crazy image-evoking title like “Madame Pompadour,” it has to be brilliant, doesn’t it now?"      (link)
  • Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel -- "Recorded in five days and funded in part by fans, the very first long-player from singer-songwriter Brennan deserves as much attention for its mid-1970s eloquence as for the fact that Brennan is transgender and 46."      (link)
  • Popdose -- "Debutante was the first new album I listened to in 2016 and it was a doozy; imagine Bowie fronting the Beach Boys, high on Cheap Trick, Donnie Iris and Sweet records, produced by Jeff Lynne," Keith Creighton writes in the annual best-of roundup. "Her real life story, told in one of my all-time favorite pieces written for Popdose, was as epic as her songs. Finances, fate and health issues kept Brennan and her gonzo mastermind producer, Fernando Perdomo, from touring and promoting the record beyond the coasts; instead, they outraced the ticking clock by recording a sophomore album, Jinx, a third record, Introducing The Breakdown According to Cait Brennan, some demoes at the behest of Sire Records legend Seymour Stein for a deal that fell through, and an untitled album at Ardent Studios (Big Star, Led Zep, Cheap Trick, The Replacements) in Memphis. So while Cait creates a vault to rival Prince’s, there is plenty of time to return to the 13 masterful Debutante tracks that began it all."    (link)

2015

  • Phoenix New Times -- "One of the amazing things about human beings is their ability to thrive in the face of just about anything...it is not difficult to find stories of individuals who, despite being thrown the most difficult curveballs life has to offer, manage to create beauty, save lives, or raise the bar for the rest of us. Cait Brennan is one of those people," writes Tom Reardon. "These days, Brennan primarily focuses her attention on her upcoming record, Debutante, in and of itself an exercise in thankfulness. For Brennan, the album is in many ways a life's work that has taken bits and pieces of her first 46 years and given life to a dozen songs about love, loss, hope, identity, struggle, and survival."     (link)
  • AZCentral/The Arizona Republic -- "Plugging Into Phoenix: Cait Brennan Recording Debut Album"      (link)