Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Katie Kittermaster Coming Home at Dawn

It takes supremacy over one’s skill, style, and representation to become a formidable contender in the world of music today.  With such image-driven artists, and copycat competitors, it is hard to find an artist who is original, yet passionate about their recording career so much that they allow little to no interference of obstacles.  Hey life happens, but when an artist makes it their sole pursuit to defeat the odds, then they are truly a viable performer in every right.  One such force to be reckoned with is Katie Kittermaster. 

Kittermaster is a British singer/songwriter who prides herself in honing her skills and craft by going above and beyond the call of duty.  She knows how to juggle life and music.  Still in high school, this “A” leveled recording artist is setting up a musical foundation that will anchor longevity.  A notable factor in Kittermaster’s career is that she single-handedly writes her own music while maintaining a good standing in academics.  Her heartfelt, honest, songs illustrate life’s complex causes and effects while also displaying that youthful point-of-view of a fledgling adult. 

Coming Home at Dawn is Kittermaster’s latest EP and it is filled with five love songs that complements any theme of reality – the five songs are: 

  1. Sunday Afternoon
  2. You Needed Me
  3. Kaleidoscope
  4. Disaster
  5. T Shirt

 This is my interpretation of Coming Home at Dawn

Sunday Afternoon” opens the album and was written when Kittermaster was just 15 years old.  This mid-tempo ballad contains tambourines, acoustic guitars, and a flirty, attitude-laden lead vocal that just spurs genuine appeal.  Kittermaster’s strong vocal presence stirs-in the storyline of the track which is about a relationship that is saturated in emotions, practicality, and affection.  The lyrics sing:  I wanna tell you how I feel but I can’t put it into words / You’re the autumn glow as the sun is dying that gently guides me home / I mean you make me feel like I can’t breathe and all I see is stars / But in a good way I swear / I wanna take you on a trip upon the Arabian Sea / I wanna be your everything / I wanna show you all the places that mean something to me / Cus your arms are one of them / You feel like home to me / Come over for a lazy Sunday afternoon / When you’re feeling sick and tired and hungover too / Let’s just get a Chinese for tonight / We’ll both be in bed by nine if that’s alright with you / And I said that’s alright don’t you worry dear / I don’t mind just lying here / I’m in your arms / I’m in your arms Tonight.  Kittermaster’s young wistful vocal melody pairs well with the mature storyline which is a great tongue in cheek approach that makes it hit-worthy.

You Needed Me” follows in line and does not disappoint.  This Pop ballad plays like a passionate kiss laced with Loreal lipstick with its playful power.  This musical narrative is a lyrical apology to a relationship that closed due to unresolved trust issues, the lyrics sing:  I’m sure that sometimes it comes across like I’ve got too much pride but trust me I’m not / The girl that I used to be / Something changed when you left me and I know I should’ve tried a little harder when you cried and I just watched ya but I got all these trust issues / I watched my mothers heart bleed And I felt it too / And I wish that I could say this all to your face / Don’t think I have the courage to watch you walk away / I wish that we could just let go / But I’m sorry for the mess I made.  “You Needed Me” has a verse, pre-chorus, chorus architecture.  The melancholic piano leads the music frame while vocal echoes, subtle drums, and violins enchant.  Kittermaster’s yearning vocal is very unapologetically delivered.  The addition of the two-part harmony at the close of the track adds texture. 

In the same way that a kaleidoscope is an optical instrument that reflects objects into multiple shapes, the third track, “Kaleidoscope,” is a reflective song that sings about a relationship placed on pause because things were not as they were seen to be.  The lyrics illustrate this by singing, “then it’s like kaleidoscopes of memories come running back coming back to me but he never does he never will.  This love of ours is on a standstill.  He never does and I know that now.  And I know that now.  And I know that now.”  This Pop Rock track has a wonderful command to its beat, synth effects, and evanescent backing vocals.  The tambourine and guitar help the vocal soundscapes take flight.  The quiver in Kittermaster’s voice speaks volumes and reflects a dreamy feeling as if she’s reaching out but cannot quite grasp that moment – it’s an intense fleeting sensation created by a great vocal talent.

Disaster” is yet another fab Pop ballad that is hit-worthy.  Opening with a question “did you have a plan all along?” the fourth track is thought-provoking and lyrically addresses the topic of loss of trust within a relationship and a woman acknowledging her high-worth – the lyrics sing: And I know in years to come I’ll bump into inside a pub and you’ll say did we ruin something beautiful and I say no I didn’t ruin anything thats on you and anyway that was then / And now I understand I’m worthy of a more than a man like you.  The way Kittermaster plays between high and low vocal registers create an emotional foundation.  The addition of the lead vocal infused with an electronic synth counterpart is great.  The elongated endings of verses pronounce the soft aggression of the artist.  The song clearly defines that the female protagonist has not fallen; she’s just observing the mess as she moves on with life.

T Shirt” is a casual love song with a length of 3:20. Closing the album with honesty, it sits neatly between County Pop and Pop.  The lyrics show how love is not a fairytale where two live happily ever after perfectly, but love is an imperfect realistic concept of emotions that can become a dream come true.  Descriptive lyrics explain this detail singing: May be you’re thinking about our trips to the coast / Or the times that I loved you and you needed it most / May be you wished that we had had more time / Or may be you wished that you had taken one of my T-shirts so that you could sleep till the sun comes up / My T-shirt so that you could feel alone / My T-shirt so you’d believe you were here in my arms / That place that you used to call home.  Unlike some Millennial songwriters who fill their songs with memes, hashtags, and cyber-everything, Kittermaster scales back on that type of dialogue and instead ops for showing the human component in dating or loving in the millennium.  Her perfect phrasing and relaxed melody gives this song such refreshing listens.

Coming Home at Dawn is proof that Kittermaster is a skilled, tactful, realistic singer/songwriter/musician.  She’s a savant when it comes to depicting practicality in music.  The history is in the words sang by Kittermaster, and the present is in the music – present meaning today as well as a gift to be cherished forever. 

Kittermaster has been touring with Boyzlife on their Autumn Tour playing 15 gigs over 22 nights.  Kittermaster will also be touring with Lucy Spraggan through UK and Europe. Make sure to pick a date and go out to see Kittermaster live.  Also, download a copy of Coming Home at Dawn NOW! 

www.instagram.com/katiekittermaster

www.twitter.com/kkittermaster

www.facebook.com/kkittermaster

 

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