Review – Katy Vernon – Before I forget

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By Nick Habisch

There’s not many ways to explain Minnesota’s recently chaotic weather patterns: Snow, rain, warm weather, then more of the same. It has been off the wall in terms of predictability, but with the wet, cloudy days comes an opportunity to really appreciate the albums that wouldn’t seem complete in the bright shining sun. One of these such albums is from local artist Katy Vernon.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Katy’s first solo album, Before I Forget, sees the singer-songwriter venturing into the realm of indie/folk/pop and pulling off an impressive debut. There is always something admirable about artists who are brave enough to release solo albums, especially in the genre of folk, where each song is driven forward by the vocals and there is very little between the singer and the listener. The intimacy of the genre can either be a boon for success or a halting shock of self-consciousness, and for Katy Vernon, Before I Forget looks to be a stepping stone toward a long road of success as a solo artist.

For a genre like folk to work, the singer(s) have to be sure of themselves and talented, and Katy comes off as both of these. Her voice can fluctuate between strong and floaty depending on the mood, and is best on display in tracks such as “Empty House” and “Little Voice”. The vocals carry the album forward, but that doesn’t mean the musical backing is at all sub-par. The songs feature a wide variety of instruments, from ukelele to flute to violins and everything in-between. This creates a nice sense of diversity within the album and never makes the listener feel they are hearing similar sounding songs.

The biggest strength of Before I Forget might be the song lengths. All of the tracks sit within the 2:30 and 4:30 length and this creates for an album full of short and sweet pieces. There is very little meandering or overt repetition as each song gets to the point and doesn’t outstay their welcome. The album hits the listener and departs before the impact of each song has floated away, and for modern music listeners this is a crucial element.

Before I Forget might be Katy Vernon’s first solo outing, but it won’t be her last. With her strong vocal presence and sharp songwriting, she has the strong possibility of becoming a force in the indie/folk genre. This album is worth a listen, and I highly recommend it.

https://www.facebook.com/KatyVernonMusic
http://katyvernon.com/

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