Katie Kim – Cover and Flood
“…Cover and Flood sounds on a whole atmospheric and a meticulous collage of songs like fragments, short enough to grab attention, with a definite ethereal sound…”
Hailing from Waterford, Katie Kim is somewhat out of the ordinary for the usual singer-songwriter tag. Cover and Flood is her second release, following her debut release Twelve, Cover and Flood weighs in at a slightly overwhelming twenty tracks. Compared to varied but inevitable female artists like Zola Jesus and Joanna Newsome, the comparisons are strangely apt. Not because both artists are female, but because Katie Kim’s music sits between the divide of folk and ambient music.
Peppered with subtle sound manipulation, Cover and Flood manages a brooding, dense sound without sounding overproduced or forced. Everything on the record sounds natural, and seems to sit well in the grand scheme of things. Vocal samples are chopped and repeated rhythmically drum loops slip in an out of the mix unobtrusively. By rights, the whole collage of sound should sound bizarre; folk jammed together with electronic elements immediately conjures images of clumsy crossover bands, like folk-metal or gabber. The comparison may be somewhat hyperbolic but the blending of textures is probably the strongest part of Katie Kim’s sound.
The album’s opener sets a somewhat eerie tone, a young child singing incoherently and layered with heavily reverbed coos and chants. Seguing into Charlie, the track centres on what sounds like a looped bass sample, sparse percussion and Kim’s sweet but haunting vocals. Other standouts include Heavy Lighting, with a rich and thick piano driving the melody, the track is perfectly complimented by long slow fizzy filter sweeps from a synthesizer. It seems the subtle sound manipulation and sparse instrumentation is what drives Cover and Flood, instruments and cavernous reverbed vocals are able to breathe in the mix contributing greatly to the mood and overall tone of the album. While at twenty tracks long the album drags slightly towards the latter half, songs are paced and balanced perfectly. Cover and Flood sounds on a whole atmospheric and a meticulous collage of songs like fragments, short enough to grab attention, with a definite ethereal sound.
Drop-d Rating: 8/10