Katie Kittermaster first came onto my radar just over a year ago. Regular readers of Sonic Breakfast will know that, from time to time, I dip into Fresh On The Net’s Listening Post. Every weekend, punters get to listen to a longlist of 25 songs chosen by a bunch of moderators from which to pick your top five – this week’s iteration can be found here. Back in February 2020, I was taking a week-long break in Spain (pre-Covid feels so long ago) and recall a relaxed Saturday morning blasting music out loud when one of Katie’s tracks came on. More poppy than I might have typically chosen, Katie had something that made my ears prick up. Her tune felt solidly honest with lyrics from the heart; similarly, I immediately trusted her casual, conversational delivery. And I liked the alliteration of her name.
Katie sent me a short E-mail after I picked her tune as one of my top five. Very few acts follow up in such a way and it endeared her to me even more. For my part, rude as ever, I failed to respond and carried on reading about Caroline Flack (who was tragically in the news that weekend).
So, it’s lovely now to reinvigorate my acquaintance with Katie. She’s been super-productive over the past year releasing a series of great singles. I’ll highlight two here, The Problem and Lukewarm Lover, but if you’ve got time this weekend (and who hasn’t when we’re in lockdown?) I’d recommend digging further still.
The Problem is a quirky, upbeat number. It’s Katie’s acknowledgement that hiding behind her chatty, bubbly exterior, there’s a worrier waiting to get out. Lukewarm Lover is about a relationship on its last legs with both parties not sure how to bring things to an end. The themes in both are universal, the honesty is diligently conveyed.
I check in with Katie and ask how she’s getting on this year. “I decided not to go to University and have been working on new music this year.“, she says. “Initially Zoom sessions were quite strange as working with somebody you haven’t physically met was daunting….especially as all of my songs are quite personal! But I’m writing with a lot of people now and collaborating has been really positive. In all honesty, I’ve been busier than ever – I think this has helped me to keep focused and hopeful.”
Katie reveals a reason for wild celebration later this year. “My Dad hasn’t been able to return from China since February last year – he is finally coming home in June. So, not long after lockdown we will be together as a family again. This will be emotional!!!!!!”
It’s testament to Katie’s positive spirit that she’s been so productive in what must have been an emotional maelstrom of a year. I like the honest endurance of her catchy pop. She’ll keep releasing singles and EPs this year. And I’ll continue to listen.
But for now – back to my shortlisting on the Listening Post.