Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Album Spotlight: Kate Vargas: Strangeclaw

Sometimes you hear a voice that is so unique that it just draws you in. Not because of soaring vocals or technical virtuosity, but because it has a quality that you won't find in any other singer. Such is the case with Kate Vargas.

Sometimes you hear an album that you can't define, but you just like it. One that weaves in and out of a variety of styles but stays true to the artist. That's what Strangeclaw is.

Kate Vargas' second album Strangeclaw is jazzy, torchy, trippy, hipster-ish, quirky, kitschy while not losing the southwestern roots that Kate came from. The New Mexico native, now residing in New York, has put together eight songs that take the listener on a journey, not just through the album, but sometimes within a song.

I'll be the first to admit that Strangeclaw will not be everyone's cup of tea. Some may not like Kate's unique vocals, but if you're a fan of John Hiatt or Stevie Nicks, there's something there for you. The instrumentation is simple and stripped down. Nothing big or bombastic, but not always subtle either.

As for me, I'll take unique and interesting over formulaic and stale anytime.

Here is "Bella Tell":

And an acoustic version of "Call Back the Dogs":

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