Written by Maria Arroyo
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Kathleen, shares her debut EP, Kathleen I. Originally from Washington State and raised in the Rocky Mountains, nature has been a huge inspiration to her. She finds herself “directly engaged with the world around her- it’s maximalism in the mountain landscapes of Colorado and its minutiae, the pattern of leaves as a vine climbs a wall or the insect living in a fallen log.”
Something that Kathleen says that really sticks with me is “I want you to cry in public…” because she wants her music to penetrate further than the surface for us to understand it. She wants to explore these “natural extremes” and how they work themselves into our everyday lives.
The first song on the record is “The Longest Year”; a song with immense movement and character. There’s a political aspect, which makes the timing of the release that much better. The instrumentation does an incredible job of building anticipation and intensity. That, paired with the sonic traveling from one side to the other makes it an astonishing opener!
“Asking the Aspens” is just as intense with its beautiful melodic contour and her amazing vocals. While she has a very specific tie to nature, it’s still a very relatable song with a lot of depth and maturity in her sound.
A song with an indie-retro type of feel is something that’s not expected, but “Seven Miles” finds a way to nestle perfectly into the collection of songs. There’s a harder rock sound behind the lyrics, which is again, another neat change for the EP. This song became a favorite for me, not only for her songwriting but the deceiving intricacy of the rhythmic parts and her vocals. The fact that she can make something so complex sound so easy speaks volumes to her amazing abilities as a musician.
Wrapping up the EP is “Half My Mind Ago” with another dramatic change in the overall feel. The choice to close with an acapella piece is bold, but definitely paid off. There’s a lot of layers that make up this song, but the rise and fall of the instrumentation are very well done. Having the opening and closing songs similar in feel is a great way to bring the EP to a full circle.
The EP is a great mix of all her different styles and influences. Each song was unique to one another, but somehow fit to keep a cohesive collection of songs. Be sure to keep up with Kathleen on all social media platforms, and who knows… maybe you’ll find your own connection to the outside world amidst our world today.
Connect with Kathleen