Kate Kennedy plays a very guitar-heavy type of looking-back rock. The new-folk of a track like “The Blues Are Exhausted” has Kennedy singing in the vein of Suzanne Vega and other nineties alternative singers, as the acoustic guitars play a folk-style that screams 2006 looking back at 1936. The guitars play interesting harmonies during “The Blues Are Exhausted”, and this is only helped by the inclusion of percussion during the second half of the track.
The track stretches all the way out to the six minute mark, but Kennedy is smart enough to have enough different things going that individuals will not feel like they are slighted in the least. “Pilgrim Prodigal” starts out with Kennedy providing the harmonies, and the acoustic playing second fiddle. This switch-up is interesting, and it is only because of Kennedy’s talented voice that the track actually succeeds. The disc is slow, and only a specific subset of music fans will honestly be able to appreciate what Kennedy does on “Circle, Spiral, Line”; individuals that like Vetiver or DiCristina Stairbuilders will easily be able to pick up this album and get behind the music that Kennedy does. The great thing about this album is that Kennedy does not even have to stay in key for the majority of the track; the bouncing in and out of key during tracks shows that Kennedy is human, and gives this disc an aura that few other discs are lucky enough to have.
“Sometime Circles Become Lines” is a track that the guitars come back in full force; while the vocals do not give up the step, it is obvious that the guitars are dictating where the track ultimately goes. Kate Kennedy has the talent to be the next big, indie thing; I can see songs from “Circle, Spiral, Line” being lapped up in much the same way the Tegan and Sara and The Dresden Dolls were in the last few years. Kate Kennedy provides a fun, emotional album in “Circle, Spiral, Line”; kudos has to go to Barely Bias for signing eir and giving eir a stage to shine on. Kate Kennedy will be big soon enough; one just needs to listen to tracks like “Sometimes Circles Become Lines” to see the level of talent that ey is working with. Pick this album up, even if you do not normally like this style of acoustic-led indie rock.
Top Tracks: Sometimes Circles Become Lines, W(Rest)le
Kate Kennedy – Circle, Spiral, Line / 2006 Barely Bias / 11 Tracks / http://www.katekennedy.com / http://www.barelybias.com / Reviewed 01 May 2007