Written by Maria Arroyo
Singer/songwriter, Kathleen, shares her debut EP, Kathleen II. Raised in the Rocky Mountains, Kathleen roots a lot of her inspiration from the world around her, from the simplicity and beauty of nature itself, which becomes the biggest driving force for her debut EP. Kathleen II is also brought to life with the incredible talents of Ariel Rechtshaid, who’s worked with Adele, The Weeknd, and even Beyoncé.
The opening track, “August,” is a swell of emotions that will send an intense shiver down your spine. The music is simple and minimalistic, yet still so full of emotion and tension. Following “August,” is her next track, “Dark Side of the Moon,” which also has a music video to accommodate it, and is the pinnacle of her EP. “I wrote most of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ on my drive back from LA to Colorado during the beginning of quarantine,” Kathleen says.
“I drove alone, car packed up with my most precious books and journals and instruments ’cause I didn’t know when I’d be back… But the more I noticed, the more we all looked like little ants returning to our primary nests. I became overwhelmed with the idea that this was the first time in recent history when we’ve had a mass migration home.” This song is beautiful and raw, with an intense story that brings the listener to a feeling of hominess and reliability.
“Can’t Sleep” introduces a more modern twist on her songwriting, but still keeps her organic side present. Her intent is to compare the state of the world as it exists to a bad dream, and I think she captures it creatively and beautifully.
Her closing track and perhaps my favorite of the EP is “Glass Piano.” Once again, she pivots from her original sound and adds a more sultry side, both in her vocals and in the song as a whole. This song creates a more somber mood than the others, and has some of the most memorable lyrics of the EP. She plays with the extreme balance of heaviness and delicateness, and makes it sound effortless.
In just a few songs, I’ve experienced more passion and musicianship than some full-length albums I’ve heard. Kathleen is the epitome of quality over quantity. She explores all of the depths of her vocal abilities, and pushes the envelope to create truly remarkable stories, which are not compromised by the post-production phase. Kathleen has created one of my favorite releases of 2020 so far, so congrats to you my dear.
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