Louisiana-born singer-songwriter Kate Ellis has been building a reputation for herself on the UK country music scene with her Americana and folk-influenced style. Following a string of live dates in the UK, Kate is now releasing her debut album, Carve Me Out.
The album’s lead track is Don’t Lie To Me, an uptempo number which allows Kate’s clear sweet voice to ring out. She has a beautiful vocal tone and does a great job of capturing the emotion of the song but without being over the top. I really like the mix of the jangly melody with the biting lyrics and think it’s a great way to open the record.
Other highlights of the album include the melancholy Ones You Love The Most, the delicate lilting Night Before The Dawn and the dreamy yet mournful Inside. Throughout the whole record Kate’s outstanding ability to create characters and gorgeous vocal shine through, and there’s a nice balance between the upbeat songs and the ballads. At times there were also moments that reminded me of some of the legendary 70s folk musicians; in particular, the soaring I Believe and the gentle yet hopeful title track both have a very Cat Stevens feel about them.
However, my favourite song on the record is What I Can’t Have. There’s a beautiful yearning in Kate’s voice and it’s a nice contrast with the music, which starts slowly before building to a twangy rhythmic melody. I also loved Holding The Whole Thing with its driving beats and soulful, slightly smoky feel to Kate’s vocal, and the lonesome Wild West feel and harmonies of Going Against The Grain.
Overall I’m really impressed with Carve Me Out. Ellis has put together a confident, mature record, with her brilliant storytelling and great vocals showing why she’s one of the leading lights in the new wave of folk singers. Although it is a little samey in places, it’s one of the most assured debut albums I’ve heard this year and I’m looking forward to seeing more from Kate in the future.
Track list: 1. Don’t Lie To Me 2. Ones You Love The Most 3. I Believe 4. Night Before The Dawn 5. Paper Scissors Rock 6. Inside 7. Holding The Whole Thing 8. Going Against The Grain 9. What I Can’t Have 10. Carve Me Out Record label: River Rose Records Release date: 2nd June 2017