I first encountered Katy at Nashville Sounds in the Round a few weeks ago, performing an acoustic songwriter set with just her guitar and the occasional accompaniment from Steven Marks of Gasoline & Matches. I was captivated then by her voice, but to now hear her with a full band is another revelation. The Band call themselves “The Healers” (see what they did there!) and the playing really complements Katy’s vocals giving an authentic country sound
First track on the EP is “Drink” – a “girl in a bar” song to contrast with all those “guy in bar” songs! Much like an argument you know you are going to lose, the song starts slow and soft, but once the drums kick in, the tempo and the vocal pick up and you know you are in trouble! You are lulled into a false sense of security with the almost Katie Melua style singing, but the more Katy gets defiant, the more Dolly Parton she sounds! This song is a girl standing her ground, and it really sounds genuine!
With a dreamy start going straight into a soft vocal, “Natchez” is a song about separation, about missing each other, regrets...but she had to go, she knows inside she had to go. You can really feel the story behind the song, and the emotion is really amplified by a powerful, soaring vocal just before the song ends. I want to know the backstory, I want to know if she stayed away…I want it to last another 4 minutes 12 seconds….
In a total contrast, “Revved Up” kicks off with a big guitar intro into a solid country beat and a vocal to match that bass line. It is very modern sounding girl country but with a huge nod to the traditional – if that makes sense! Truly showing the less soft side to Katy, with her powerful singing voice really coming through.
Probably my favourite track on the EP, and already released as a teaser single, “See Ya Later” lifts the tempo again from Revved Up, but this time in a more pop country, pacy and downright fun way! Based on an incident from a party, it is a song about kicking a guy to the kerb after just his first approach. You can’t listen without tapping your feet – and having a little sympathy for the guy who hit on the wrong girl!
The title track of the EP, “Unfinished Business” brings the whole package together. It is a song you really want to stop and listen to – which is why Katy wrote it. It feels almost autobiographical, and it comes from a singer songwriter who is a self-confessed lover of the Country Genre’s storytelling tradition and a way to express feelings and emotions through song. Having listened to the whole EP while writing notes and the review, this one stopped me dead in my tracks – and went straight onto repeat. This song is pure emotion, pure song writing, and pure singing all wrapped up into four and half minutes of magic.
Overall you feel that Katy is a powerful, self-assured Country girl. She knows her mind, she knows what she wants – and I know she will go far!
“Unfinished Business” is released on 22 March and can be pre-ordered now from iTunes