Back when I saw Andrew McMahon in April, his opening act was Kate Earl. She was touring with a set of music from her 2012 release, “Stronger,” which I at the time thought, given it was the only disc on sale, that she was a relatively new act on the scene. I enjoyed the live performance, and I picked up the album, which has been pulled out quite a bit since then.
The album has echoes of a different era, and is delightfully organic compared to the electronic-heavy efforts dominating radio today, and Earl has a lovely voice. But the odd thing is, I had encountered her music before.
While I hadn’t connected it at the time, I had actually downloaded her 2009 album, thanks to an iTunes recommendation. It was pretty good, but listening to it again recently (which spurred on this post, having rediscovered it on my iPod), I didn’t find much of it memorable, although I was enjoying it anew. “Melody,” the track that propelled the earlier album, showcases the approach taken on that effort – more produced, more beat-heavy. Clearly not the same approach, although Earl’s voice shines through beautifully here too.
To me, the more organic approach fits her better, making the latest effort superior. I couldn’t find on YouTube a copy of the title track, but others, like “Wicked Love” above, still offer a good representative sample. It’s definitely worth checking out.