Katie Kittermaster, like so many young artists, had an amazing year planned last year. Signing with Revanche records in June 2020 she was booked to support The Crash Test Dummies in Germany and Holland in May, booked to play 17 UK festivals in the summer of 2020 along with opening for Kaiser Chiefs, Soul ll Soul, Scouting For Girls, Gabrielle and Rick Astley. But then came Covid 19 and, like countless artists the world over, everything was put on hold. Rather than bemoan the veritable loss of what could have been a breakthrough year she got to work on writing virtually, recording and looking to broaden her musical horizons.
Her song ‘The Problem’ has been listed on 97 UK radio station playlists and she has just released a wonderful acoustic version of the track on New Years Day. This introspective song’s upbeat tempo belies the anxiety beneath. Katie wrote the track late one evening before flying out to LA for a writing session. She says “I guess I was kind of checking I could still write” which in itself illustrates Katie’s approach to what she is doing. Writing about ideas of depression and knowing that other people go through the same feelings of insecurity as she does gives her strength and less of a feeling of being alone. It’s easy to think that when things go wrong you may be “the problem” and difficult to understand why things happen. Accepting that sometimes the fault lies in many different places and not just at one’s own door is a start to being able to accept responsibility for the things we can change but also to understand that there are a great many things we have absolutely no control over. This year, in a strange way, seems to have helped this excellent songwriter to come to terms with that and rather than allow it to defeat her, she is determined to come out of the other end a better writer, a better singer and maybe like all of us strive to be better at life.
‘The Problem’, especially in it’s stripped back version, highlights Katie’s lyrical style and delivery. For me, there are real similarities to early Ellie Goulding and Passenger but I think that being able to tour with singer songwriters of the calibre of Lucy Spraggan and Scouting For Girls has added further depth to her writing. She will be releasing a new song ‘ Lukewarm Lover’ at the end of the month but she is keen to broaden her writing partners. She told me she would love to take part in the ‘Under The Apple Tree sessions’ with the legendary ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris and is working towards making that dream come true in 2021.
I would love to see her collaborate with artists like Megan O’Neil, Liv Austen and Laura Oakes because I think Katie’s voice and style and bravery in writing subjects would lend itself beautifully to Americana and those brilliant artists would add another facet to her songwriting. Who knows, she might just become the UK answer to Maren Morris.