Artist: Katie Burden
Album: Katie Burden
Label: Cautionary Tail
Release Date: 09/16/2016
Introducing herself with debut EP My Blind Eye back in 2014, Colorado native, Katie Burden has made a name for herself with the inspired, spectral arrangements infused into her songwriting. Her lyrics conjure up dusky landscapes populated by dark shadows, strange men and the unknown, all set to Burden’s emphatic whisper-to-a-growl vocals. Having bounced around between both San Francisco and New York City, those formative years allowed the singer/songwriter to gather together collaborators and friends that have fed into the inky textures of her latest album, Strange Moon.
Perhaps the most notable of these collaborations is with Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint, whose self-titled sophomore release was widely regarded as one of the best albums of 2014. Her moody bass guitar is featured on the opener “Don’t Ask,” a track baked in turbulent psychedelics as well as a dream pop progression similar to Warpaint’s own gritty offerings. The immediate follow-up “Run For Your Life” picks things up a bit more, settling into a sinister arrangement of deadly synth atmospherics alongside a steady, pulsating rhythm. Tracks such as these depict Burden as a lover of the uncanny and the unfamiliar even in places like “Too Good For Love” where the friendlier tone belies lyrics where Burden takes an almost rhapsodic delight in enunciating every syllable in “sweet sucking honey bee.”
While at times the pacing of Strange Moon works against itself in some of the longer tracks, the folk-like myth-making sets up the album as a strong first for Burden, whose gorgeously grim art only continues to grow alongside the friends she’s made along the way.
– Ziggy Merritt