Emerging Manchester singer/songwriter Katie O’Malley brings her own brand of haunting and soulful Americana as she premieres the video for Yoshino, taken from her recent EP Wild West.
Katie O’Malley first appeared in 2017 with her self-released single Dawn Chorus. This was then followed up in May 2019 with a 5 track EP, Never Be The Same, and more recently in August 2020 the 3 track EP, Wild West. Throughout this time Katie has enjoyed a growing reputation with exposure on country stations throughout the UK, America and Australia and support slots with both Beth Rowley and Kimmie Rhodes.
Katie’s mournful yet powerful vocal style with a deep and husky vibrato has become synonymous with her delivery in all her releases to date. Her wide vocal range has allowed Katie to cross over into different genres of music from country and folk through to soul and blues with great effect.
The theme of Wild West was influenced by personal recollections of dark and disturbing images arising from the activities of the criminal underworld. Yoshino however turns a feeling of despair into more of a sense of positivity. As Katie herself explained:
“I wrote the song at a time when I felt like I had lost my way a bit and was feeling down. Not only in myself but in the world and its goings-on. Yoshino is a mountain in Japan that is rumoured for its beauty and the cherry blossoms that grow there. Yoshino to me represents this perfectly peaceful place. I feel everyone hopes to have moments in life of being truly happy and content and even though our lives are filled with a lot of rubbish hopefully we can all find our piece of Yoshino that we’re searching for.”
The sparse instrumentation of acoustic guitar, pedal steel and piano underpinning the beat of a single tambourine create a dramatic opening to the song. The emotion builds and climaxes as drums and a lead guitar are added only to run out with the lone piano as that perfect place is finally reached. Throughout, Katie’s deep and rich vocal textures are delivered straight from the heart.
Katie O’Malley has already been championed by Americana UK and won BCA Country Artiste in 2019 and on the strength of this song and the body of work she has created so far, there is little doubt that more accolades will follow. With a compelling mix of power, emotion and vulnerability in her tone, I look forward to hearing more from Katie in the future.
All words by Ian Corbridge. You can find more of his writing at his author profile.