Kate Fenner Presents a Powerful, Emotional Collection of Songs with MIDDLE VOICE

The bulk of this album was recorded just after Kate Fenner was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After battling through some other illness and getting sober, she was hit with this diagnosis and the bevy of emotions that accompanied it. Using the motivation of the possibility that the surgery could affect her voice, she enlisted her friend Tony Scherr to play guitars and bass, as well as help with production. After she healed, she was able to put on some finishing touches… and the result is this beautiful and powerful album.

A strong mother and a survivor, Kate Fenner’s music blends this strong spirit with a sultry style. The New York Times once compared her to Joni Mitchell and that comparison is very appropriate. In that same way that Mitchell was able to mix a classic singer-songwriter feel with a sexy and alternative style, Fenner creates a unique group of songs here.

The album opens with “Two Minds”, a song that lyrically explores forces battling within her, looking at how they fight each other and also how they can coexist. The pull in different directions feels like something most of us can relate to.

Her vocal style not only harkens to Joni Mitchell, but also brings to mind Sinead O’Connor and Dolores O’Riordan (of The Cranberries). The alternative sensibilities of her style are what appeals most to me as an 80s kid whose musical adolescence was in the 90s alternative and punk scenes. Despite having a more refined edge than some of the female vocalists I found my tastes gravitating towards in that era, she possesses a certain quality that reminds me of that time… a time in popular music that I remain quite fond of.

The album continues through 10 more tracks that highlight an artist contemplating life and what comes next. The lyrical depth matches the simple yet beautifully structure pop folk tunes. The album is a breath of fresh air that will appeal to a large variety of listeners.

Standout tracks include “This Divorce”, the cover of Bob Dylan’s “You’re a Big Girl Now”, and “The Yield” (video below).

Check out the album at Spotify and Bandcamp today. And follow Kate Fenner at Facebook or Soundcloud while you’re at it.

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