Tuesday, 26 April 2016

EP: Kate Dineen - Great Escape

Info: Tralee folk artist Kate Dineen released her debut EP, Great Escape, with a launch night in Dublin's Bello Bar yesterday. Intricate finger-style accompaniment and introspective lyrics combine as this singer songwriter lays her soul bare. Her debut EP covers escapism, dealings after dark and internal conflict. It also gives a nod to the American folk music which influences her style. 

Great Escape begins with it's title track, a soft and stripped back affair with all of the focus on Dineen's gentle vocal performance and guitars electric and acoustic. It's a classic folk song, leaving yourself exposed isn't easy and doesn't often work, especially as an introduction, but it's done perfectly here, '...here's to clich├ęs' Dineen sings, whilst avoiding them with ease.

'Night Creatures' brims with self-awareness and emotion, its title suggesting the protagonist is addressing each of her little anxieties which come to visit her as a group late at night, but also unrequited love, musically and vocally echoing Gemma Hayes of days gone by. On 'Make Me Down A Pallet' we switch over to a really enjoyable piece of bluegrass / country music, Dineen again puts her ability to tell us a story in the window with these light-hearted and humourous lyrics. 

Guitars edge toward spaghetti Western bends on closing track, 'Storm', if Tarantino delves into the genre in the future once again he could do far worse than picking this one up for his OST. The sound is more fulsome on 'Storm' providing a nice balance to the EP, harmonies and a more prominent electric guitar adding to the tracks mysterious aura.

I really like Great Escape and can see myself coming back to it again and again, it felt at times like it was flirting with more pop-oriented sounds, like First Aid Kit without the bling, but it restrained itself. This is definitely an area Kate Dineen could comfortably reside in, but I think it was important that she created a collection of songs which strongly reflect who she is as a musician, and where she's come from, which she has managed to do successfully here.

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