I first saw Katie Kittermaster supporting Lucy Spraggan at an intimate gig in Norwich in 2019. I remember being drawn to her unique sounding vocals and the honest and captivating way she interacted with the audience. Fast forward a year and the nineteen-year-old singer songwriter has supported Boyzlife and, since the pandemic started, been active with live performances on social media. Kittermaster has just dropped new single ‘One of a Kind’ and an accompanying video.
The refreshing aspect of seeing Kittermaster live is the emphasis on her guitar and vocals, particularly the unusual intonation in her vowels. ‘One of a Kind’ represents more of a move towards the centre ground of pop than her previous work. However this is no formulaic pop song. We hear Kittermaster’s unique vocals overlay a breezy guitar-driven pop track. Yet, there is a contradiction. This subject matter is anything but breezy being about navigating the emotional landscape of a break-up from a different perspective. Whereas most songs are about heartbreak, as Kittermaster, says on her website “the shoe being on the other foot can be equally as upsetting, as you never want to hurt somebody that you care about.”
To turn a potentially melancholic subject into an uplifting pop song is credit to Kittermaster’s songwriting and arrangement skills. In some ways, it reminds me of what Miley Cyrus achieved with the excellent ‘Midnight Sky’. Both songs demonstrate emotional issues can be set to an upbeat soundtrack.
Whilst, from a personal perspective, I hope Kittermaster doesn’t totally abandon the story-driven songs that suit her almost folky vocals, ‘One of a Kind’ demonstrates versatility and will introduce her to a wider audience.
‘One of a Kind’ is a beautifully crafted pop song and a great addition to the repertoire of another exciting British singer-songwriter.
Words by Andrew Butcher
Check out Andrew’s blog here.