26 Aug 2019
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Katie Thompson - Single Review: Alcohol and Pills

16 Jul 2019 // A review by Jacinda Selman

After an 8 year hiatus, folk singer Katie Thompson has returned to recorded music with her soon to be released third album Bittersweet. Teasing the album release, Thompson has released the first single Alcohol and Pills, a cover of a 1997 original by Fred Eaglesmith. Stepping out from her previous pop-oriented sound, Alcohol and Pills is a wistful ballad beautifully suited to Thomspon’s dreamy voice. 

Recording a cover is always a challenge as you have to strike a balance between what you love in the original, while also bringing something new. You stand to gain more attention from lovers of the original and stand on the shoulders of accomplished songwriters, but also risk being criticised in direct comparison. Eaglemith’s original features haunting pedal steel beneath a raw and uncompromisingly human vocal. It’s not perfectly in tune. The performances aren’t perfect - and yet this is where the magic hides. 

Thompson’s rendition features Neil Young-esque guitars, harmonica, and programmed-feeling drums. Her vocal performance has been informed by Eaglesmith’s original, but has been buried under reverbs and overdubs, which conceals the natural, unadulterated sound of her voice. This is a shame, as what we can hear hints at a lovely tone and vocal maturity. The instrumental parts are well performed and interesting, but there is none of the push and pull that a band playing together will create. The parts layer up and clutter the song. In particular, the harmonica lacks restraint; never giving space to another instrument or even the vocal. The result is a song which sounds good, but there’s no magic. 

Despite the peculiarities intrinsic to playing a cover, Alcohol and Pills may be Thompson’s strongest offering to date. It seems to me that Thompson is a vocalist on the cusp of finding her own voice. I am interested to see if the originals on her upcoming album will better reveal Thompson as an artist and performer.

Stay tuned for the full album release Bittersweet, due early September 2019

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Katie Thompson

Christchurch based singer/songwriter Katie Thompson is set to release her live EP "Moving On" this May. The new tracks were recorded at Quicksand Studios in Christchurch and are a taste of what's to come.

Katie will be touring nationwide this July - details out soon. Achievements to date: Female Artist of the Year Finalist at the National Country Music Awards, opening for Elton John & receiving video funding from NZ On Air for her latest single Cruel to be Kind.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Katie Thompson

Releases

Bittersweet
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Impossible
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Tall Poppy
Year: 2009
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Jacinda Selman

Dylan Storey - EP Review: Phobos and Deimos
14 Aug 2019 // by Jacinda Selman
Dylan Storey has earned himself a strong reputation playing with and alongside a number of high profile Auckland fixtures including Bond Street Bridge, The Miltones, and The Bads. His most recent EP Phobos and Deimos adds to an already large body of well-crafted songs, mostly accompanied by a band and presented in an appealingly under-produced fashion.
Read More...
Katie Thompson - Single Review: I Was Once Your Everything
06 Aug 2019 // by Jacinda Selman
Katie Thompson has just released her second single from her upcoming album, Bittersweet. After reviewing the first single, I was intrigued by the potential of the album, which explored a more developed and introspective sound than her past material.
Read More...
The Black Seeds - EP Review: Refabricated: Fabric Remixes and Rarities
10 Jul 2019 // by Jacinda Selman
The Black Seeds are a New Zealand household name synonymous with cruisy summer afternoons. Their dub, roots, and reggae influenced sound has earned them an established reputation as masters of the groove - and their latest offering does not disappoint.
Read More...
Little Ripples - Album Review: Rise and Fall
30 Jun 2019 // by Jacinda Selman
Little Ripples, a Northland-based acoustic act, have been busy touring their unique brand of child-centred family folk, bringing their first album to many new fans, and becoming something of a staple for the 95bFM kids show. Their relaxed vibe and acoustic tones immediately conjure feelings of a quiet Sunday at home.
Read More...
Bianca Isabel - Single Review: Lovely Day
28 Jun 2019 // by Jacinda Selman
At the tender age of 15, Bianca Isabel is already a formidable singer and songwriter. Watching her singing for her social media videos under a heavy mane of dark hair, it’s hard not to be reminded of Lorde; New Zealand’s sweetheart turned international artpop princess.
Read More...
View All Articles By Jacinda Selman

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • SENORITA
    Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello
  • RANSOM
    Lil Tecca
  • BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
    Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid
  • OLD TOWN ROAD (REMIX)
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
  • THE GREATEST
    Six60
  • HOW DO YOU SLEEP?
    Sam Smith
  • NO GUIDANCE
    Chris Brown feat. Drake
  • SOMEONE YOU LOVED
    Lewis Capaldi
  • BAD GUY
    Billie Eilish And Justin Bieber
  • DANCE MONKEY
    Tones And I
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem