There's more to quiet music than diminutive volume. It's an intent laid bare in arrangement and emotion with space for sound and feeling to grow outward to the listener. For the last five years or so, Katie Bennett has quickly — and quietly, of course — become one of indie pop's most thoughtful songwriters as Free Cake For Every Creature. Home-recorded with longtime bandmates Francis Lyon and Heeyoon Won and other Philly friends, the upcoming project The Bluest Star not only captures a room's intimacy but also Bennett's hushed ruminations on love, loss and friendship (and the inevitable mix off all three).
"Around You" is the kind of song you want to put on a mixtape for a new crush, when the sparks are tentative but palpable. With clipped drums behind a three-chord strum, its twinkling indie pop expands ever so slightly, as Bennett compares a summer's letter exchange to writers Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller: "You left some things unsaid / And I liked you more for that."
Bennett, in particular, is adept at shaping her whispered vocals into understated wonders, turning into a guitar's whammy bar when she sings the song's most romantic line, "The light just wants to hang around you."
The Bluest Star comes out Aug. 3 via Double Double Whammy.