KATIE ELLEN – ” Still Life “

Posted: June 28, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Katie Ellen’s debut album, 2017’s Cowgirl Blues, saw frontwoman Anika Pyle kicking against the traditions and norms that come with adulthood—namely, love, major life changes, cohabitation, and domesticity. She penned the anti-marriage anthem with “Sad Girls Club,” a standout track that featured the defiant heartbreaker of a chorus: “Sad girls don’t make good wives.” On the Philly band’s new, five-song EP, Still Life, Pyle is still trying to wrap her head around these things.

Was SO excited at the news of this EP, considering that Cowgirl Blues was among my favourite albums of 2017.  “Still Life” is particularly resonant for me. It feels so different as Anika showcases her vocal skills even more, with a fuller band sound and even backup vocals, but the emotional quality and content of the song still feels 100% like Katie Ellen. On opener “Lighthouse,” Pyle reckons with warring thoughts—wanting to be brave enough to swim into life’s uncharted deep end, but feeling tied down by the anchor of fear and anxiety. Later, on the EP’s title track, she surrenders to the idea that love is more powerful and wild than our capacity to tame it: “You can’t make love stay / Do your best to hold it in place.”

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Musically, Pyle flexes a few new tricks she’s trying out, like on “Still Life,” where her voice spirals into borderline operatic delivery, a far jump from the quick and dirty style she cut her teeth on in her former pop punk project Chumped.

Still Life from Lauren Records. originally released July 20th, 2018

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