There are musicians in the world that if they conformed to the pop normalcy of over-production, sleek synth bop sounds, and meta-love songs, they would be global “superstars”. I say this with tongue in cheek due to the insignificance of the term “superstars”, but I think you get the just of what I’m saying.
Katie Herzig is evolving. With her latest release, The Waking Sleep, she has reinvented herself, building on her prior successes, while pushing herself in an entirely new direction. The result is a fantastically produced album, courtesy of Cason Cooley, packed with fresh, catchy tunes.
A few years ago she had proven herself as a reputable folk rock talent, well-known for her heart felt acoustic performances. Then she took an unexpected new route, when she had the opportunity to pen and perform a handful of songs for both the big and small screen (i.e. Grey’s Anatomy, Sex and the City).
Subsequent to that experience, she started experimenting with tape loops, sampling and digital recording. The result is a new sound for the Nashville-based singer-songwriter, a sound that is more energetic and diverse, a sound that is unique. Where else can you find beautiful cello mixed with techno drum beats? Cool stuff for sure. At times I think of Metric, other times Enya, but most frequently it is her own distinctive sound.
The album kicks off with “Free My Mind,” a melodic, rich song that will leave you singing and bopping along joyfully. It’s an excellent cut and one of several on the album cut from the same cloth, along with “Way To the Future” and the unforgettably addictive “Best Day of Your Life.”
Herzig demonstrates her immense versatility throughout the album, On “Make a Noise” she reflects on current world affairs and the need to speak out, while deftly channeling derivative sounds of Enya. “Midnight Serenade” is similar musically but focuses on a challenging relationship while beautifully spotlighting Herzig’s soulful voice.
“Oh My Darlin” is a bit more stripped down compared to the rest of the album but the perfect showcase for her captivating vocals as she reminisces about early love. It’s also my favorite cut on a superb album.
Check it out below and prepare for a nice selection of creative tunes on an album you won’t soon get tired of.