SOUNDS LIKE: Fiona Apple, PJ Harvey, The Knife
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Hundreds of years of traditional Irish folk have led to unique, experimental artists like this
Kate Sullivan, aka Katie Kim, will turn 30 the day before St. Patrick’s Day, but her ethereal, angelic voice doesn’t give that away. She alternately sounds like she could be 12 or 90, and manages to pull off the illusion with minimal vocal effects. She’s released just two albums, the most recent of which, Cover and Flood, alternates between dark, haunting melodies and beautifully low-fi pop. Nine of the 20 songs on the album clock in at less than two minutes, and the immediacy works extremely well.
All of what’s wonderful about Katie Kim is showcased in “The Feast,” a song that begins with a simple three note tune but builds rapidly to a thudding, eerie conclusion. The song calls to mind old Irish folk songs, the darker sounds of PJ Harvey and, oddly, Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer.” It’s a great introduction to a singer who should be generating more attention stateside.