Kate Klim – Something Green
An album that’s about hope, with a brilliantly upbeat light vocal approach by the lovely Kate Klim (vocals/piano) who surrounds herself with chiming guitars, creative percussion & airy melodies. Her independent LP Something Green (Independent-Drops March 4) contains 10 wonderfully composed pieces & the title track is one of the finest.
A potent driving beat, layered instruments add to the distinctive Kate Klim sound. There’s no over-emoting but there’s a Beth Nielsen Chapman/Natalie Merchant quality to her performance. The piano-driven songs can be intense as Vanessa Carlton & the compositions possess singer-songwriter acumen that commercially written tunes lack. Could be the purity that Ms. Klim displays in her vocals.
“Songbird,” despite its typical title finds Kate able to draw out drops of sensitivity that make the song far more significant. Her vocals are reminiscent of Chicago-based Sons of the Never Wrong’s female vocalists. Her music embodies scenarios that are personal & though it sounds like she’s still searching for that signature sound to set her apart from others she does have an impeccable way of performing.
“Almost Know Anyone,” breathes with crisp drums, a tasty melody & Kate’s silky vocals. Also gratifying is “Nobody Told You” with producer Andrew Delaney who adds background vocals & Alyssa Cortez’s soothing trumpet. Kate’s intonation & phrasing is close to the late Judee Sill (another pianist) in how she pronounces her words.
During the creation of this work Kate underwent some personal issues & instead of adding loss to her songs, she shapes them effectively into melodies of hope, change, & love. A more optimistic outgrowth.
Kate has a wonderful showcase. Her songs have charm, leave a sensitive allure & while her voice isn’t whispery or powerful it floats with an elaborate gentleness much the same as Allison Moorer (“Cold In California”) with its Beatlesque arrangement. Kate’s arrangements sparkle as well, especially on “Take the Driving.”
“God and Magic,” & “Lines” have a strong borderline Nanci Griffith influence. Kate navigates the song distinctively. Lovely stuff. Good strings/string arrangement by Emerald Rae on “God & Magic” & one suggestion: On “God” — instead of a steady snare beat throughout — the song would be more powerful with brushes, then add the snap of the snare toward the last verses. Build it up. Just an opinion. The steady snare becomes plodding.
The most commercial tune “But You Can’t” is catchy & has finger-snapping coolness. “Head To Toe,” is heavier with an Emmylou Harris-type tone & the thudding drums are perfection.
The CD art is green, fresh, with soft-focus images like early Joni Mitchell albums. The excellent musicians: Scott Davis (guitar/bass/synths), Josh Blue (drums/percussion), & Mia Rose Lynne (background vocals/harmony arrangements).
Not everything needs to be performed with a concentrated effort to impress a listener. The magnolias in Kate’s voice are what satisfy. She’s a class act.
Color image: Neon Entertainment. The 44-minute CD is available @ https://kateklim.com/