Katey Brooks is a major talent.
Her musical gift glows on REVOLUTE, her new album, premiering here today on Popdust.
Produced by Brooks, REVOLUTE merges her delicious soul-folk-blues-country sound with topics like love, loss, learning, rebirth, and emotional honesty. It's the latter notion – honesty – that makes her music so genuine.
Brooks grew up in a cult, where music became her safe haven as she came to terms with her queer identity. According to Brooks, "It was a very chaotic upbringing, full of some pretty colourful and sometimes unsavoury characters. And that led me to feel quite squashed as a person. But when I sang, I felt free and connected. For as long as I can remember, it's been my way of getting what I need to say out."
A bit of a rebel, she later turned down a place at the Brit School, a prestigious performing arts college. When she was 22-years-old, her mom and best friend passed away. A residue of aching sadness enveloped many of her songs. Brooks says, "I guess I'm lucky that I have songs that I can write, as a means to deal with things."
Encompassing 11-tracks, entry points on REVOLUTE include the opening track, "Never Gonna Let Her Go," a sublimely gorgeous song, commencing on gospel choir-like voices flowing into a blues-flavored country-gospel melody. Brooks' voice is nonpareil, rich, alluring, and bewitching.
"Golden Gun" rides wickedly dark flavors, reminiscent of Chris Isaak, tantalizing and inscrutably devout. The rolling, trembling rhythm infuses the tune with tight opaque resolves.
"Call Out," a song about exposing your heart to others, opens on an almost dirge-like piano topped by Brooks' penetrating, evocative, melancholic tones. The last track, "Trouble So Hard" releases cool savors of bluesy gospel energy, traveling on jagged edgy guitars and a deep bass line. Austere and uncomplicated, the song projects murky, affecting dynamism.
Put simply, REVOLUTE is superlative, surely one of the best albums of the year.